Friday night on the box is the Vice-President’s Question Time, starring Dotty Scotty as the hapless foot-in-mouth Leader of the House…
Speaker: I call upon the Honourable Member for Buka Buka.
Hon. Member for Buka Buka: Mr Speaker Sir, I rise to ask the Honourable Vice-President whether it is in order for the government to require opposition MPs to seek permission from the DC and the police before visiting their own constituencies?
Dotty Scotty: Mr Speaker Sir, if honourable members of the opposition wish to avoid this inconvenience, all they have to do is to join the ruling party. If the Honourable Member for Buka Buka would care to accept an appointment as a deputy minister, the government will provide him with a mansion and a chauffeur driven Mercedes for each of his concubines. Then he will be able to live like a king in Lusaka, and never again feel the slightest temptation to visit his constituency. All his problems will be over.
Hon. Member for Buka Buka: Mr Speaker Sir, is it in order for the honourable Vice-President to bribe me with the offer of a ministerial position?
Dotty Scotty: Mr Speaker Sir, I am grievously hurt that my well intended offer to allow the honourable member to serve his country has been so dreadfully misconstrued. Therefore my offer is withdrawn.
(General cheering and cries of ‘With immediate effect’)
Speaker: I call upon the Honourable Member for Namwanka.
Honourable Member: Does the Honourable Leader of the House have any explanation on why the Ndola Trade Fair had only 13 visitors this year, which is severely down from last year’s figure of 438,214?
Dotty Scotty: This disappointing result is due to this government’s diligent attention to the rule of law. Unfortunately the organizers of the Trade Fair had omitted to apply for a police permit to hold a public gathering, and therefore, under the requirements of the Public Order Act, the police had no choice except to close it down. Previously the opposition had claimed that the application of this Act was selective and partisan, so I am sure that the opposition will now be particularly pleased to see that in this case the application of the Act affected people of all political affiliation, age, gender, tribe and religion. I am sure the opposition would therefore wish to congratulate the government on this fair minded and even handed application of the law.
Honourable Member for Namwanka: Can his Honour the Vice-President please inform the House of the fate of the 13 people who managed to get into the show?
Dotty Scotty: Having failed to raise bail of K10m each, they are being held in remand prison until trial, hopefully before the end of next year. In such matters the government is keen to respect the independence of the judiciary, so nothing more can be said on that score.
Speaker: I call upon the Honourable Member for Chongololo.
Honourable Member: Prior to the general election of 2011, the ruling party promised that they would introduce the Freedom of Information Bill within 90 days. What has happened to this promise?
Dotty Scotty: This government always keeps its promises, and the government will soon put this Bill before parliament.
(cries of ‘When? When? When?’)
Dotty Scotty: When? When? I sometimes wonder whether my right honourable friends on the opposition benches are deaf. As I have already said, and as ruling party has always promised, the Bill will be presented within 90 days. I don’t know what more I can say.
Honourable Member for Chongololo: If I may ask a follow-up question on the freedom of information, when may we expect the president to hold his first press conference?
Dotty Scotty: I am somewhat taken aback by the lack of logic in this question, since the Honourable Member for Chongololo has himself just reminded this August House that the Freedom of Information Act has not yet been passed. Obviously, until this Act is passed, everything that the president says must remain confidential, which rules out any possibility of a press conference.
Honourable Member for Chongololo: When is this press conference likely to take place?
(Cries of ‘Within 90 days!’ from all sides of the House)
Dotty Scotty: I am pleased to observe that the Honourable Member for Chongololo seems to be the only member present who does not know the answer to his question!
Speaker: I call upon the Honourable Member for Sukulu.
Honourable Member: The Honourable Minister for Education has banned private tuition in order to maintain a level playing field in government schools. But is there a level playing field when all the ministers’ children attend private schools?
Dotty Scotty: Mr Speaker Sir, it is patently absurd for the honourable member to claim that all the ministers’ children are in private schools when no man can be sure how many children he has fathered, let alone which schools they are attending.
Speaker: I should caution members to come to this house with factual and verifiable information.
Honourable Minister for Chibuku: Mr Speaker, Sir, At last I have some important and verifiable information. The time is now 16.00h, and the Members Bar is now open.
(There is a mad scramble for the door, and Dotty Scotty is left alone, wagging his wobbly chin at the empty Debating Chamber)
Original entry is found here