SPEAKER of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has directed Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu to give a ministerial statement before Wednesday next week on the violence incidents which have engulfed the country.

Speaker Mutti was ruling on a point of order raised by Shiwang’andu PF member of parliament Stephen Kampyongo.

Kampyongo said some incidents had indicated that UPND cadres had attacked PF members.

“Madam Speaker, I raise on standing orders 144, raising a matter of urgent public importance. Madam Speaker, recently we have had reports of violent activities in different parts of the country. One of the members, honourable Chisopa who was appearing at the courts of law to hear his petition was harassed and was bundled in a motor vehicle by the police to go and get detained. Further, Madam Speaker, we had a council mayor who was petitioned in Kabwe who equally was harassed when he appeared before the courts of law,” Kampyongo said.

“Madam Speaker, in yesterday’s newspaper of the Daily Nation volume seven, on the front page, there is a headline ‘UPND cadres attack PF secretariat’. I quote ‘unruly UPND cadres yesterday ambushed PF secretariat in an attempt to disrupt a press conference addressed by its vice president Given Lubinda. After being swatted by the PF youths who were around the premises, the cadres went on rampage beating up innocent people in town and causing destruction to property. The cadres allegedly also beat up a police officer’. Madam Speaker, as I speak to you unconfirmed reports are pointing to in fact that this police officer is normal.”

Kampyongo said such violent activities would only generate lawlessness and disorderliness in the nation.

“Madam Speaker, violence as cited by his Excellency the President can only generate into lawlessness and disorderliness in the nation. Therefore, there is need to curb it and make sure that our people co-exist without living in fear. It doesn’t matter who perpetrates it, it doesn’t matter what political affiliation, we are saying we should be a country anchored on the rule of law. Madam Speaker, this is the institution which should hold the Executive accountable and ensure that the liberties of your people are protected as guaranteed in the supreme document of the land, the Constitution. Madam Speaker, I seek your serious guidance on this very important matter of national urgency,” said Kampyongo.

And in her ruling, Speaker Mutti said the matter was both urgent and of public importance and further directed Mwiimbu to respond to the matter not later than Wednesday, 29th September 2021.

“Honourable members, the matter raised by the honourable member for Shiwang’andu and Patriotic Front party chief whip Mr S Kampyongo is in my view both urgent and of public importance within the contemplation of standing order 134 of the National Assembly standing orders 2021. Therefore, in accordance with standing order 134 3(a) I direct the honourable Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to respond to the matter raised not later than Wednesday, 29th September 2021,” Speaker Mutti said.

And in another ruling on a point of order which was raised by Pambashe PF MP Ronald Chitotela last week on whether it was in order for UPND officials to issue statements on behalf of government, Speaker Mutti said the point of order was raised out of time.

“Honourable members, the House will recall that on Wednesday 15th 2021 and Mr R Mutale member of parliament for Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency was on the floor, Mr R Chitotela member of Pambashe Parliamentary Constituency raised a matter of urgent public importance pursuant to standing order 144 of the National Assembly. The issues raised by Mr Chitotela MP can be summarised as follows; whether the security brief rendered by the security wings to the President of the Republic of Zambia will be subjected to Cabinet approval; whether it was in order for the UPND political party to issue statements on behalf of the government; whether it was appropriate for the Republic President who is State Property to fly economy class during the Coronavirus pandemic. I have since studied the matter and I will now render my ruling,” she said.

“Honourable members, having explained the procedure and inadmissibility criteria for raising a matter of urgent public importance. I now wish to address the matter raised by Mr R Chitotela MP, firstly Mr R Chitotela MP raised the matter when the House was debating the motion of thanks to his Excellency the President address which is public business. From the timing outlined, it is clear that an urgent matter of public importance must be raised before the House begins to consider public business. In this regard the matter was raised out of time.”

She said the matter was inadmissible because he relied on an inappropriate standing order.

“Secondly, though the issues he raised may be important in governance of the country, they are not so serious or urgent that they require the immediate action of government to avert a calamity as envisaged by standing order 134. In view of the forgoing the matter is inadmissible as a matter of urgent public importance. Honourable members, I have further observed that some members have been confusing the procedure for points of orders under standing order 131 and that for raising a matter of urgent public importance under standing order 134. I am confident that the guidance I have given on how to raise a matter of urgent public importance will help resolve this problem,” said Speaker Mutti.