There was confusion this afternoon in parliament when the motion for the lifting of former president Rupiah Banda’s immunity was brought up by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba.
Just when Mr. Kabimba stood to present the motion, UPND Monze MP Jack Mwiimbu rose on a point order regarding the motion in question.
Mr. Mwiimbu, who is also a lawyer, asked the speaker for guidance because the motion at hand was a subject of a court injunction that was served to the clerk of the National Assembly yesterday afternoon.
In his point of order, Mr. Mwiimbu argued that there have been several instances when the speaker has guided the house to avoid debating matters that are before the courts.
He said a number of opposition MPs who have been expelled from their parties are currently still in the house because the speaker has guided that the matters can only be determined after the courts have discharged them.
But the Speaker ruled that parliament was an independent institution that does not get orders from any other institution hence free to observe its own rules and procedures.
He said the court documents that were served on the Clerk Of National Assembly could not apply to the House because it enjoys freedom to determine its own matters in the spirit of separation of powers and hence it has its own internal proceedings that are not amenable to any court of law.
At this point MPs, mainly from the opposition started heckling and continuously shouted, despite the Speaker’s insistence that that his ruling was final.
The speaker them requested Fred Mmembe’s other agent Wynter Kabimba to finished the motion presentation.
As Kabimba spoke, there was more loud noise and chaos inside the house forcing the Speaker to suspended business for next 15 minutes.
From there the speaker disappeared from the house for almost 2 hours consulting among other people president Michael Sata and Fred Mmembe on what to do next since they are the people who schemed the whole thing.
Meanwhile, heavily armed police officers in full riot gear entered parliament gate as some of Mr. Banda’s sympathisers attempted to break the National Assembly gate.
If you are in Zambia tune in to 92.5 fm, parliament radio and listen to the cahos.
MPs have continued hecling and raising points of order while Fred M;membe’ Speaker says obstruction will not be allowed and the motion must proceed.
‘Motion cannot at this stage be deferred. if I commit an error, there’s another process which can be resorted to, the court process,’ he told MPS but they ignored him.
Sinda MP shouts; ‘Minister of justice is not president of Zambia and cannot present motion. Mwanawasa presented motion himself.
Speaker: If you look at hansard, Mwanawasa”s presentation was extensive and did not quite constitute a motion. In this case, parly is relying on standing order 37, which allows any minister to present a motion. When Mwanawasa presented, he used a different article from the constitution.
another point of order. Genesis of this problem is the abuse of the opposition by office of the speaker…’
After being overruled by the Matibini several times including that Kabimba was a wrong person to present because he had a vested interest going by his recent public media statements, opposition MPs have now walked out. But Sata’s deputy minister from the opposition remain in the house.