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Alba Iulia
Friday, July 3, 2020

Lusaka High Court sets July 6 as the date for ruling on 46 Suspended UPND MPs

Headlines Lusaka High Court sets July 6 as the date for ruling...

UPND MPs dressed in black in protest at HH's detention
UPND MPs dressed in black in protest at HH’s detention
THE Lusaka High Court has set July 6 this year as the date for ruling on whether or not to grant a judicial review to 46 United Party for National Development (UPND) parliamentarians who are challenging Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini’s decision to suspend them.

And the State has told the court that Dr Matibini was on firm ground to suspend the 46 legislators. In an affidavit filed to oppose the summons for leave to apply for judicial review, National Assembly acting deputy clerk Cecilia Sikatele says the decision to suspend the applicants for 30 days is supported by law.

She says the conduct of the applicants was contemptuous because by boycotting the state of the nation address by President Lungu, they committed intentional disrespect to the head of State.

Ms Sikatele said the Speaker is empowered to discipline members of the National Assembly.

“We wish to state that following the boycott of the official opening of the National Assembly on 30th September, 2016, the Speaker in his ruling warned that future boycotts would be met with much stiffer penalty.

“In any event, the 54 UPND MPs boycotted the official opening of the National Assembly on 30th September, 2016, and were subsequently reprimanded. In the apology which was tendered by Mr G Nkombo, he admitted expressly that he was a prime mover of the boycott,” she submitted.

On June 13 this year, Dr Matibini suspended the UPND parliamentarians for 30 days during which they will not be paid salaries or allowances.
But the MPs have sought leave to apply for judicial review to challenge their suspension.

Nalikwanda MP Geoffrey Lungwangwa and 45 others are now seeking a declaration that the Speaker’s decision was illegal as they were just exercising their freedom of expression as guaranteed in the Constitution.

Meanwhile, SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has lifted the suspension of United Party for National Development (UPND) member of Parliament (MP) Rasford Bulaya after establishing that the lawmaker did not boycott President Lungu’s state of the nation address to Parliament.

This brings to two the number of MPs that have escaped the one-month suspension slapped on UPND parliamentarians. The speaker had initially suspended 48 MPs but he last week withdrew the suspension of Namwala’s Moono Lubezhi because she had been excused.

Dr Matibini has, however, reprimanded Mr Bulaya, the Mpongwe lawmaker, for being absent without permission.

Making a ruling yesterday, Dr Matibini said Mr Bulaya complained to his office that he was among the 47 suspended MPs when he was attending a court case at Mpongwe Magistrates Court on the material day where he was a witness in a case of “The People versus Gabriel Namulambe”.

Dr Matibini said Mr Bulaya did exculpate himself in response to a charge letter where he explained his absence.

“Unless it is practically impossible, a member must seek prior permission from the Speaker or the chief whip to stay away from the sittings. Review of the records show that Mr Bulaya responded to the charge letter addressed to all UPND MPs to exculpate themselves,” Dr Matibini said.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting someone has even managed to fight for his monthly allowance. I am very sure this monthly suspension will have bad consequences for some of these UPND law makers regarding settling of debts, hence the fight for the monthly allowance.

    • Money is good they wouldn’t bother if it was just a suspension but without pay that’s why they are fighting now

    • “…..they committed intentional disrespect to the head of State.”
      Ok, fine but which law says, they can be suspended for 30days and no salary? Is this law applicable to MPs only or is it to all Zambians? Is it only in relation to the nation address. So if you dont listen to the President on Radio or TV, is one committing intentional disrespect to the head of State?
      Is Mr. Chanda charged under this law for commenting on HH case, when the President said no one should?
      I am just curious.

    • Test your popularity by desolving parliament and holding elections free from your violence and vote stealing and you will see how badly you will lose.Winners are not scared of petitions.

  2. These cases are taking too long to process. July 6 will come and my guess will be another case adjourned. We seriously need to ask questions on who is actually footing the legal bills here. If it’s the taxpayer then the Judiciary itself is an accomplice to corruption. Abuse of the courts leads to anarchy and as things stand, the anarchists happen to be the people we empower to enact laws on our behalf. I hope this is not going to be another round robin.

  3. CAN YOU QUATE SECTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION WHICH STATES THAT WHEN AN MP ABSCONDS HIMSELF FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH IS LIABLE FOR SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION? LUNGU IS NOT THE DULLY ZAMBIAN ELECTED PRESIDENT UNTIL THE PETITION IS HEAD. IMMEDIATELY HE REFUSED TO HAND OVER INSTRUMENTS OF POWER TO THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, DURING ELECTIONS THAT IS WHEN HE BECAME A DICTATOR AND LAW BREAKER AND WHO CAN LISTEN TO A CRIMINAL’ SPEECH?

    ON THESE GROUND IF WE HAVE STRONG JUDICIARY IN ZAMBIA, MATIBINI MUST BE RETIRED ON PUBLIC INTEREST OR ARRESTED FOR WASTING ZAMBIAN RESOURCES BECAUSE ALL THE MPS WILL BE PAID FULL AMOUNTS OF MONEY.

    • Both ECL and Matibini should be held accountable for not handling of the instruments of power during the petition or transition period. His immunity must be removed from him after he steps down not because we don’t like him, No! We just want to know the truth.

    • @ 3.1 Lombe (MA),

      I am shocked at the level of confidence in your statement despite your lack of knowledge of the law guiding the handover of power.

      Power handover does not apply to a petition that follows first round of votes.

      On what grounds do you make your statement, is it on humanitarian grounds, legal grounds or mere strong feelings?

    • Imwe ba SENA ….even a grade 7 failure knows the 3 arms of Boma – parliament is independent and makes own rules . . .take time to teach yourself some basics. You are definitely a lowly educated tonga kachema

  4. As an MP you go ahead and attend a parliament whose official opening (i.e. giving it legal, constitutional mandate, and authority to operate) you boycott or don’t recognise.
    Now if that is not being a Donkey what else is it? UPNDonkey of course!

  5. As an MP you boycott first time, Speaker reprimands and issues a warning and you apologise. Next time you boycott on same grounds and Speaker suspends you. You go the High Court.
    Now if that is not being a Donkey what else is it? UPNDonkey of course!

  6. I am not surprised these greedy foools are fighting for their monthly salary and allowance since its over K100000…if only they fought for pensioners like this!!

    • Yes, and talking about their monthly take-home pay. I could not believe my eyes!K3,000 per sitting plus a monthly salary of K31,000.Not to mention allowances earned from committee meetings. These are the issues the opposition MPs should have been against. But of course they can’t as they are beneficiaries. This is a crazy world indeed! Someone’s sitting allowance is someone else’s monthly salary!

  7. Facts:
    1. Whatever you want in Zambia today if a Presidential signature is required it will bear the one for His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
    2. If you want dialogue or reconciliation you have to agree with the President of the Republic of Zambia, who is His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
    3. If you are sentenced to death the person who will pardon you can only be the Head of State, the President of the Republic of Zambia who is His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

    As days unfold but even before the anniversary of the 2016 elections, UPNDonkeys will find out the obvious facts themselves and if they are not donkeys they will ask themselves why they have wasted so much time and money on obvious facts which even a grade seven pupil knows.

  8. Why are they fighting to go back to parliament to debate issues on behalf of the person they don’t recognise. If you don’t recognise the president you must as well refuse to get the salaries and allowances he pays you simple.

  9. What kind of employment would it be where an erring employee cannot be disciplined by their boss?
    And what kind of country does UPNDonkeys desire where there will be no discipline? As underfives clearly they think governing a country is a children’s game, manyengwe.

    • The MPs were not appointed by the speaker. They were elected by the people in their respective constituencies. But I very much acknowledge the fact that the speaker is their boss in that house and they have to abide by the rules of the house

  10. When they lose this stupiod case in court I am hereby raising a motion for the Speaker to slap the Donkey MPs another suspension of 65 days this time for bringing the House into disrepute by going to court to embarrass the Speaker and the House, an act tantamount to not recognising the authority of a legally elected Speaker.
    Serious, that is the only language UPNDonkeys understand. Just see what will become of HH, sorry I mean U5, since HH the economic manager disappeared from Zambian politics when GBM joined the UPNDonkeys as vice president and running mate.

  11. Terrible mwana wa kumawa.. you are tribal. kulabila monga fwiti waku Malawi….
    Ndwe mwana wa ndani uliye ulemo……nikulabila ca kwatu….wavya lomba…..
    Dine Uso.

  12. I wait for a head of state who will come and cut these luxuries from the MPs. Being an MP should be to serve the people that elected you. But at the moment it has become a money earner! Its like in Zambia to be rich quickly you have to enter politics and ensure you become an MP? shame really!!
    If these people’s emoluments can be reduced to say 15pin per month everything included and that useless gratuity scraped off, only serious people with hearts to serve the people will be entering politics let alone becoming MPs!

  13. When we started work the first thing we’re taught was “do the job and complain later ….not the other way round “

  14. @3.3 Imwe ba Chi Hanez know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and applies to parliament as well. The constitution guarantees right to protest, freedom of speech and association. These superceed any rules of parliament that take away those rights. Moreover the MPs have more rights than an average citizen.

  15. UPND wearing Black for PROTEST! Let’s face it, if Presidential elections were decided on loudest Protesters, then HH and UPND would form gov’t! They are a Protest Group not a Political Party.

    • Anyway, how does thus work. A Politician wins a seat in Parliament, then refuses to recognise the Head of Parliament and the gov’t it’s formed under, right. Stay with me…….then refuses to go to Parliament to represent the people who voted for them. Then goes to court to protest at being suspended for failing the people who voted for them….? What is an MP’s main purpose? So far we are lead to believe their UPND duty is to represent HH on his failure to win Presidential elections and not the people. Confused.

  16. ALL THE PEOPLE WHO READ THIS NEWS ARE PF AND I HAVE NOT SEEN THEM ON ZAMBIAN OBSERVERS OR EAGLE. KEEP ON DEFENDING YOUR LUNGU AND YOURSELVES. WHETHER IT IS 2021 OR AFTER, ONE DAY YOU SHALL MEET THE WATERLOO AND ALL YOU SHALL BE JAILED BECAUSE ALL THE BOARDRES SHALL BE SEALED YOU KNOW THAT OF COURSE.

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