SPEAKER of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has directed Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu to issue a ministerial statement on Tuesday next week on the arrest of some PF members of parliament.

This follows a point of order raised by leader of the opposition Brian Mundubile on whether Mwiimbu was in order to remain quiet when three PF members of parliament had been arrested.

On Tuesday, Pambashe PF MP Ronald Chitotela, Kawambwa PF MP Nickson Chilangwa and Chinsali PF MP Kalalwe Mukosa were arrested for various offences.

“I rise on a serious point of order, Madam Speaker, we have noted with concern that in the recent past, honourable members of parliament are facing arrests every other day. It is a pattern that we have watched in silence and we are hoping that it will come to an end. We are going through a very important stage in the parliamentary cycle of approving the budget. We are not saying members of parliament should escape the effects of the law using Parliament,” said Mundubile.

“What is of concern is that members of parliament are being arrested on frivolous charges, arbitrary arrests. When coming to these arrests it has taken a certain pattern, a pattern where even ordinary citizens against which reports were made are walking freely in those localities. But MPs have been made to leave Parliament to go and report themselves to the police. Madam Speaker, as members of parliament we are messengers of the people. Arresting Chitotela, Chilangwa, Mukosa will not change the message. Our concern is that even at the time when the President had assured the nation that this fight will not be tribal, it has however taken a pattern that is very suspicious. We have to be honest with each other, let us make an audit! Let us mention the names [of those] that have been arrested. My point of order therefore, is the Minister of Home Affairs in order to remain silent while these dignified MPs continue to be harassed by the police?”

In her ruling, Speaker Mutti directed Mwiimbu to explain to Parliament on Tuesday why the MPs had been arrested.

“The honourable members that have been arrested, they are part and parcel of this honourable House and therefore there is need for the honourable Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to brief the House on what exactly is happening to these honourable members that have been arrested. I will therefore direct the honourable Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to come back to this House on Tuesday next week to render a statement to explain to this House why these honourable members have been arrested. That is my ruling,” said Speaker Mutti.