SPEAKER of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has ruled that Mapatizya UPND MP Clive Miyanda out of order asking President Edgar Lungu to lead by example on alcohol.
On Friday 19th February 2021 when the House was debating President Lungu’s address on the progress made in the application of national values and principles, PF government deputy parliamentary chief whip Tutwa Ngulube raised a point of order on whether Miyanda was in order, during his debate, to say President Lungu should lead by example especially on alcohol.
“Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to rise on this important point of order. Mr Speaker you have already guided this House and I think we all know that relevance is one of the pillar stones of debates in this House. When the honourable member [who is] debating says that the Head of State must lead by example especially on alcohol, is he referring to the President’s speech or is he still going back to the same thing that you have already guided us on? I seek your serious ruling,” said Ngulube.
Dr Matibini said MPs were barred from making reflections on the conduct of the President or other persons in higher authority.
“In my immediate response to the point of order. I indicated that I was constrained to rule on the point of order until I had sight of the verbatim record. I have since perused the record on the matters relevant to the point of order and now render my ruling. Honourable members having contextualised the point of order, I wish to appraise the House, the point of order raises the issue of a member debating the persona of the Head of State. The National Assembly Handbook 2006 is instructive on this matter. In this regard paragraph 24 (d) and (e) of chapter five entitled ‘conduct of members of parliament and Parliamentary etiquette’, provides and I quote ‘while on the floor of the House members should not (d) reflect upon the conduct of persons in high authority i.e the Head of State or the chair unless the discussion is based on a substantive motion drawn on proper terms; and (e) use the name of the Head of State for the purpose of influencing debate’ end of quote,” said Dr Matibini.
“Honourable members the impact of this provision is that members are barred from bringing in their debate the persona of the President, that is members are proscribed from making reflections on the conduct of the President or other persons in higher authority as spelt out, unless the discussion is based on a substantive motion drawn on proper terms. Therefore, Mr Miyanda MP was out of order when he made reference to the Head of State in the manner he did. By so doing, he fell far off paragraph 24 (d) and (e) of chapter five of the members handbook . I thank you”