PETAUKE Central independent member of parliament Emmanuel Jay Banda has expressed concern that a number of school-going children are not following COVID-19 guidelines, and are therefore getting sick owing to the cold weather.
Raising a matter of urgent public importance in Parliament last Tuesday, Banda wondered whether the Minister of Education was in order to allow the school-going children not to follow COVID-19 guidelines.
“Madam Speaker, the school-going children in Petauke and Zambia at large are not following COVID guidelines. Madam Speaker, a lot of school-going children are sick, as I’m talking some are even in hospitals, are sick of flu because of this cold weather. They have tried different medicines but they are not getting healed. Is the Minister of Education in order to allow the school-going children not to follow COVID guidelines whilst us, their leaders here in Parliament, are following COVID guidelines? I seek your ruling Madam Speaker,” Banda said.
In response, Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti said government, through the Ministry of Health, had already put measures in place to ensure that citizens were protected against the pandemic.
She, therefore, ruled that the issue did not qualify to be raised as a matter of public urgent importance.
“Let me proceed to deal with each matter that has been raised by the respective honourable members. The honourable member for Petauke has raised a matter concerning COVID-19 pandemic. As honourable member, this matter is well known to the government and it has through the Ministry of Health already put measures in place to make sure that citizens are protected against this pandemic. So the matter that the honourable member for Petauke has raised does not qualify to be raised as a matter of public urgent importance within the meaning of Standing Order 134. The member’s issue can therefore be addressed through other avenues such as questions as I had earlier advised,” said Speaker Mutti.