Matibini suspends 48 UPND MP’s and urges them to recognize Lungu or resign

Empty seats after UPND boycott in March this year

Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has suspended 48 United Party for National Development (UPND) Members of Parliament for boycotting Edgar Lungu’s address to Parliament on 17th March this year.
Meanwhile Peoples Party leader Mike Mulongoti observed before today’s suspensions that there was so much aggression in Matibini’s rulings adding that freedoms of parliamentarians are being stifled.
In his ruling on Tuesday afternoon, Matibini claimed that the move by UPND Members of Parliament to boycott Lungu’s address to Parliament was disloyal and morally unjustifiable.
Matibini claimed that Zambia has a duly elected President who was declared as winner of the last elections by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) adding that the election petition by the UPND was not successful.
Matibini further said he was sworn in by Lungu after which he swore in all members of parliament adding that if UPND parliamentarians do not want to recognise Lungu as the President of Zambia then they should resign on moral grounds.
He said taking into account the seriousness of the offence (Boycotting Lungu’s empty address) he has decided to suspend them under section 28 (2) of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act for a period of 30 days commencing today the 13th day of June 2017.
Matibini said during this period the 48 will not be allowed to be at Parliament, Parliament Motel or any Parliamentary select committees and will not get any allowances or salaries.
He explained that 10 UPND Members of Parliament among them Monze MP Jack Mwiimbu are not affected by the suspension as they had earlier sought leave of absence while 4 others had been out of the country on official duty.
Meanwhile Peoples Party leader Mike Mulongoti observed before today’s suspensions that there was so much aggression in Matibini’s rulings in recent months adding that freedoms of parliamentarians are being stifled in the house.
Speaking ahead of today’s suspensions when he featured on Prime TV on Monday evening, Mulongoti wondered in whose interest Matibini was to suspend Members of Parliament stressing that such a move would not help democracy in Zambia.

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