Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hon. Given Lubinda arrested for failing to comply with parliamentary summons

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Patriotic Front Vice President, Hon. Given Lubinda, has been arrested for breaching parliamentary privileges after failing to attend or adhere to parliamentary summons issued to him to appear before a committee. The arrest is connected to an offense in which the Speaker of the National Assembly found Hon. Lubinda guilty of breaching parliamentary privileges as an outsider. Lubinda has been arrested contrary to Section 11(A) of Amendment Act No. 13 of 2016, Chapter 12 of the National Assembly Act on Privileges and Absences.

The facts of the matter are that Hon. Lubinda was summoned to appear before the Committee on Privileges and Absences in December 2021 and on 14th June 2022 regarding remarks he made to condemn the Speaker’s ruling made after she expelled nine members of parliament who had lost their petition court cases. In her final ruling, the Speaker reprimanded Hon. Lubinda in absentia and closed the matter.

The Speaker’s ruling stated that it is a breach of privilege and contempt of the House to make speeches, print, or publish any libels reflecting on the character or proceedings of the House or its committees. The Speaker gave an example of Speaker of the National Assembly, Amusa Mwanamwambwa, who summoned Antonio Mwanza and S. Kabwata for making disparaging remarks against the House. The Committee on Privileges, Absences, and Support Services established that the duo’s utterances were disrespectful to the Speaker and amounted to an affront on his authority, which was a breach of privilege and contempt of the House.

In her ruling, the Speaker reprimanded Hon. Lubinda for his conduct at a press conference held by the Patriotic Front Party on Wednesday, 8th December 2021. At the press conference, Hon. Lubinda made contemptuous remarks that showed disrespect to the Speaker’s office and demeaned the dignity and decorum of the august House. Such conduct is unacceptable and unbefitting of Hon. Lubinda’s status as a person who served this House for a long period both as a backbencher and Hon. Minister.

The matter was referred to the Committee on Privileges, Absences, and Support Services for consideration. The Committee established that Hon. Lubinda’s remarks were a breach of parliamentary privilege and in contempt of the House. Following its finding, the Committee recommended that Hon. Lubinda be reprimanded at the Bar of the Assembly in accordance with section 28(4) of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Chapter 12 of the Laws of Zambia. The Hon. Mr. Speaker ruled in line with the recommendations of the Committee.

However, Hon. Lubinda did not comply with the summons issued to him to appear before the Committee, which resulted in his arrest. Member of the Central Committee, Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba, has condemned the action, calling it an oppressive action against the opposition. He said that the abuse of archaic laws currently being used against opposition leaders was to harass and oppress leaders providing checks and balances. He further added that both the Judiciary and Parliament were not sacrosanct and that members of the public could criticize their actions. He said that this was now a democracy, and the abuse of archaic and colonial laws to punish the opposition must come to an end.

In conclusion, the arrest of Hon. Lubinda has sparked a debate on the abuse of archaic laws against the opposition. The government and the ruling party should strive to uphold democratic principles and allow for the opposition to criticize their actions without fear of arrest or persecution. It is important to note that democracy thrives on a vibrant opposition that provides checks and balances to the government.

13 COMMENTS

  1. You attempt to arrest a man on his 60th birthday because you are full of hate chi hh. You ars cursing yourself. Bible says if you disrespect your elders you shorten your life. Your birthday is in June and you might not reach it if you continue like this. We still celebrated bo lubinda birthday. Booooo shame on you hh

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  2. Just keep throwing them in jail for weekends……….

    until the PF learn yo respect administrative procedure and laws………….

    Zambia was definitely becoming a Congo DR in the making where procedures administrative laws are none existant ………

  3. This pumka government will reduce Zambia to a toilet.
    1.Parliament has been reduced.
    2.ECZ reduced
    3. Very soon the courts of law
    Shame

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  4. Seen in isolation, this arrest may be perceived as a genuine attempt to uphold the rule of law by arresting those that breach of the law.

    But when you look at it in concert with the totality of the evidence available, i.e. the various attempts to bring down the opposition PF; de-registration threats, etc, it becomes clear that it is a case of mere persecution and oppression of the opposition. For, isn’t Hon. Lubinda the first one ever to be arrested for this offence under the anachronistic law?

    So, what then is the purpose of this arrest, other than to persecute, to weaken and to bring down the opposition?

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  5. So many Zambians have criticized the Parliament and none has been summoned except Hon Lubinda. It’s ironic to note that the same case Hon Lubinda is alleged to have commented on has had its ruling in the ConCourt, where the speaker’s action was reversed. Why did the police has to go back to a closed chapter? There’s an invisible hand directing the police what to do.

  6. Our parliament is just full of it. This is a democracy and freedom of speech is central to our pillars of governance. We should not have self importance over-riding duty. The duty is to governance. Parliament and the Judiciary should understand that their priority is not self importance which both seem infatuated with as if they are in an autocracy, but service to the people. The problem is all politicians are like that: arrogant and unable to admit thatthey are servants of the people. The PF behaved the same way when they were in power so our politicians need political education

  7. This UPND GRZ is stamping its Mark on zambia , and any breeches of administrative procedures and laws will be looked at……….

    There is no political persecution, just follow guidelines, laws and procedures……….what is hard about that ?

    Those citing political persecution, should know , the PF is a dead floating frog in the water………..

    The PF absolutely don’t present any political threat to this GRZ…………

    Even if PF grouped with the SP , we know their greed and crookedness will consume them before any real battle…….

  8. Who the hell does PF think they are
    above the law ??
    If they feel this will give them a sympathy vote how wrong they are ?

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