Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Executive Director Wesley Chibamba has said the speaker is within his right and authority to suspend the 48 UPND MPs because they truly contravened the regulations of the August house set forth.
Chibamba has however said TIZ as an organization that seeks to promote good governance is worried about the timeliness of the disciplinary action.
The TIZ Executive Director further stated that his organization is concerned about the speaker’s decision because it seems like there are still some political tension in Zambia at the moment due to the arrest of the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema on treason charges.
Chibamba noted that the suspending the UPND members of parliament might only fuel the already existing tension between the PF led Government and Opposition UPND along with their sympathizers.
And the TIZ Executive Director said it was going to be prudent for the speaker to be cautious of the timing before taking any action, stating that it is very possible to do the right thing at a wrong or inopportune time.
He has since urged the various arms Government through their respective institutions to be sensitive to the political undercurrents obtaining in Zambia right now as they exercise their authority and duties.
“Perception is a very potent source of misunderstanding as such perceptions need to be very well managed. At the moment, the suspension of the UPND Members of Parliament maybe perceived as further attempts to silence the voice of the UPND, regardless of whether this is true or not.”
“There is already a perception that democracy and other freedoms it espouses is being stifled by the current regime. The suspended Members of Parliament are representatives of the people in their various constituencies, their suspensions entails that people in 48 constituencies will not have representation in the legislature for 30 days the electorate may not see it as punishment on the erring MPs but on themselves for supporting the opposition.”
“TIZ would like to remind all the political players, especially elected leaders, that they have a responsibility to be accountable to the electorate. All decisions made and actions taken must be in the interest of the people that gave them the mandate to govern and/ or represent them” Chibamba said