FIRST Deputy Speaker Attractor Chisangano has ruled that Milenge Independent member of parliament Gystave Chonde is not in order to go into the Chamber with a handbag because he is male.
Meanwhile, Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Charles Milupi vowed that UPND shall not shy away from reminding PF of the things they did wrong.
On Wednesday, Chonde arrived with a handbag in which he stored some white powder targeted at pouring on easterners, a practice between tribal cousins when one side has a bereavement.
Following late president Rupiah Banda’s demise, northerners have equipped themselves with white powder and in some instances, red lipstick to “decorate” their ‘cousins’.
Some members of parliament were painted white before business of the House resumed yesterday, among them Water Development and Sanitation Minister Mike Mposha and Petauke independent member of parliament Emmanuel Jay Banda.
But when business of the House resumed, Agriculture Minister Mtolo Phiri, who was one of Chonde’s targets, rose on a point of order to find out if Chonde was in order to go into the Chamber with a hand bag.
“I refer you Madam Speaker to item 236 of our standing orders. Item 236, Madam Speaker, indicates that a female member or visitor member maybe be allowed to carry an ordinary sized handbag into the Chamber. Madam Speaker, I go further on another point of order on issues of offensive weapons, Madam Speaker, which are well detailed. Madam Speaker, the honourable member behind me from Milenge has come with a hand bag. First, he is not a woman, he is a man. He has come with a hand bag, a black one and made of crocodile skin and he has warned me, [and] honourable Gary Nkombo that in there it is full of powder and other offensive weapons,” Mtolo said.
“How can I be in your Chamber, Madam Speaker with such a dangerous man behind me? Offensive weapons are not allowed here Madam speaker. I would ask you Madam Speaker to allow me to lay this weapon on the table. I am not at peace here. Madam Speaker, is he in order to come with such a handbag and offensive weapons like those? I need your very kind ruling Madam Speaker.”
In a similar point of order, the Petauke member of parliament wondered if the Bemba parliamentarians were in order to pour powder on their ‘cousins’ without paying them something for soap.
“Thank you madam Speaker for allowing the good people of Petauke to explain in the dangerous pouring of powder. Madam Speaker, I have seen the Honourable member for Roan and the Honourable Minister for Community Development, they have got dangerous weapons, Madama Speaker, in their pockets. Madam Speaker, I am asking if they can be searched before this pouring of powder can continue. And they are pouring powder on us before even ‘kuzing’ us, giving us money for mkuzo,” Banda said as the Deputy Speaker interrupted to demand an interpretation of the word “Mkuzo”.
“Madam Speaker, according to our culture, in order to say sorry you need to pay something. So before they pour powder, they need to pay something so that we can buy soap and clean our clothes, but it’s like they are also very broke. Especially the minister, the Minister for Community Development was first supposed to remove money, but being broke and pouring powder-pouring powder, like my brother there the Minister of Water. Madam Speaker we need a very serious ruling so that they should first be giving money.
In her ruling Chisangano said Chonde was not in order.
“Thank you so much can we see the bag and the weapons. Though we haven’t seen the weapon, we have seen the bag. Honourable member, according to our standing orders which we have here, only women are allowed to come with handbags. The men are not supposed to carry any bag in the House. So the honourable member of Milenge is out of order for coming in the House with a bag. Thank you,” Chisangano said, and also guided those who had been painted white to clean up before rejoining business.
And Chisangano reserved her ruling on a point of order raised by Solwezi East Member of Parliament Alex Katakwe on whether suspended opposition PF MPs were in order to lie to the nation that they were chased from the House to prevent them from debating the presidential speech.
Meanwhile, Milupi said construction of Mapula mission mini hospital in Milenge would not resume.
“The construction of Mapula mission mini hospital in Milenge district stalled due to changes that were made during the revision of the distribution list by the ministry affecting all site that had not commenced work at the time of revision and Mapula was among the affected sites. The project will not resume as the project was not on the distribution list,” he said.
But Chonde asked for a message of hope to take to his people.
“We are looking forward for you to give us hope in Milenge, we can only cry to the new dawn government. Now this is an area that has got a catchment of about 40,000 people and it is only serviced by the zone centre now the referral hospital is about 70 kilometers away. Last month, I was talking to you, you promised to come and we are still waiting so that we appreciate the infrastructure in the province. My question, therefore, minister is what message do you have that I can give the people of Milenge in terms of social services in terms of the hospital?” asked Chonde.
In his response, Milupi vowed not to shy away from reminding PF of the things they did wrong now that they wanted to blame UPND for everything.
“Madam Speaker, the honourable member for Milenge is right asking what message of hope and he prefixed his question by reminding us that we are now in office and it is our responsibility to run the country and he is right. What we do not appreciate is when we are labelled as if we have done something wrong when that comes from the previous administration. I think we are also in order to remind the party in the opposite of the things they did, especially if they bring those issues and pretend that they were caused by us. We will not shy away by continuously reminding them otherwise. Madam, our desire is to be mature and to run the country as one unit,” said Milupi.