PARLIAMENT yesterday reprimanded Munali MP Mumbi Phiri and ordered her to pay K250,000 for claiming that MPs were getting a lot of money
Ms Phiri was also reprimanded for saying that she was misled into voting for the increase in emoluments for constitutional office holders through an electronic system.
This followed a point of order raised by Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice– President, Gaston Sichilima on November 25, 2008 against Ms Mumbi over her allegations on MUVI television where she stated that MPs were getting a lot of money.
During a programme on the television station, Ms Phiri had stated that she was misled into voting for the increase in emoluments for constitutional office holders by the electronic mode of voting.
The remarks by Ms Phiri prompted Mr Sichilima to raise a point of order claiming that it was not appropriate for the MP to claim that she was misled into voting for the motion by the electronic system particularly that the Speaker had taken time to enlighten the MPs on how the system worked.
Following the point of order, deputy chairperson of committees of the House Mkhondo Lungu said that the earlier ruling by Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa regarding MPs debating matters discussed in the House outside was still valid.
Mr Lungu said that since he was not privy to the tape on which Ms Phiri made the allegations, he could not make a concrete ruling and would therefore seek time to ask the committee on privileges to handle the matter.
In their findings, the committee discovered that Ms Phiri abrogated the privileges of Parliament by discussing issues debated in the House outside.
The committee also found that Ms Phiri lied by stating that she was not conversant with the electronic mode of voting when the Speaker had enlightened the members on how the system worked.
The committee, however, considered that since Ms Phiri was a first offender, Parliament should exercise maximum leniency on her.
In her ruling, deputy Speaker Mutale Nalumango ordered that Ms Phiri pay K250,000, the money that National Assembly paid to MUVI TV to view the tape and reprimanded her, telling her never to abrogate parliamentary privileges again.
In her apology, Ms Phiri said that she was sorry for bringing the name of the House into disrepute and pledged to abide by parliamentary procedure.