SPEAKER of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has ruled that Vice-President Inonge Wina did not mislead the House when she said she only gave out “little change” to some marketeers who were demanding that she buys things from them in Kasempa.
The Speaker was rendering a ruling on a point of order raised by Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo on April 30, this year, on whether the Vice-President was in order to mislead the House when she stated that she only gave money to one person during her tour of a market in Kasempa when there was video evidence to the contrary.
“Mr Speaker, I am grateful to you for allowing me this opportunity to raise a Point of Order on Her Honour the Vice-President. Sir, during the Vice-President’s Question Time, Her Honour the Vice-President indicated that her activity of giving out money at the market was limited to a young person whom she gave what she termed “the little change” from her shopping spree at the market. Mr Speaker, we are guided by Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia, which is a directive, that as much as possible, a witness on the Floor of the House or in a Committee Room must not misguide this House. According to the video that I am looking at now on my phone, Her Honour the Vice-President was dishing out money not to one individual, but through an individual who is wearing a green shirt. In the stampede, the security officers honoured Her Honour the Vice-President because she is the second most important person in this land,” Nkombo said.
“According to what I am seeing here now, there are more than eight people, not children, but women and men, to whom the man in green was passing what she calls, “the little change”, but is the biggest denomination bank note in this country. Mr Speaker, is Her Honour the Vice-President, therefore, in order to mislead this House that she only gave one small boy what she calls “the little change”? I will lay this phone on the Table of the House for you to see the clip I am referring to. I would like to have the phone back as soon as you dispense with it. Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling on this matter.”
Rendering his ruling, the Speaker noted that he earlier reserved his ruling and added that Nkombo requested for his phone back and undertook to avail his office the footage on a flash drive, but he has not submitted the footage to date.
“I wish to report that before the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly could retrieve the video footage from Mr G GNkombo’s phone, he requested for his phone back. I, nonetheless, had recourse to the relevant verbatim record of the proceedings of that day, and found that it suffices for me to render a ruling on the matter,” he said.
Dr Matibini said the Vice-President did not mislead the House, adding that she was factual in her statement.
“Contrary to Mr G G Nkombo, MP’s, assertion that Her Honour the Vice-President had misled the House by saying she had only given little change to a small boy when she had given it to more than eight men and women, Her Honour the Vice-President first did not say she had only given money to a small boy, but that she had bought scones from the boy. And second she acknowledged that she had given money to more than one person. In view of the foregoing, Her Honour the Vice-President was factual in her statement on the Floor of House and did not mislead the House, as alleged. Consequently, I find that Her Honour the Vice-President was not out of order,” he said.
Dr Matibini further urged members to ensure they have accurate information before raising points of order.
“Hon Members, from the foregoing it is clear that at the time Mr G G Nkombo, MP, raised his Point of Order, he appears not to have been seized with accurate or precise information of the response from Her Honour the Vice-President. I, therefore, wish to seize this opportunity to guide Hon Members to ensure that before they raise a Point of Order, they should be in possession of accurate and complete information or facts, surrounding the procedural breach they wish to bring to the attention of the House. Failure to do so may result in them misleading the House, and the public at large,” said Dr Matibini.