Sixteen opposition political parties have warned Speaker of National Assembly Patrick Matibini against using his office to intimidate innocent people or curtail debate on national issues.
Addressing the press on behalf of other opposition leaders at the MMD Secretariat Friday morning, Forum for Democracy and Development President Edith Nawakwi said the opposition political parties have noted with the deepest concern and worry at the attitude the speaker of the national assembly is exhibiting towards citizens that have raised concerns over the way parliament is being run.
Ms. Nawakwi said the speaker, like any other public officer is the servant of the people and he is answerable to the people.
She said, the speaker is not above the people and certainly not above reproach.
“Therefore, we are deeply worried to note that the speaker has chosen to use his office to silence dissent and curtail any debate pertaining to the way he is discharging his duties in the house,” she said.
“The case in point is the summoning of President Msoni and President Haikande Hichilema for respectively calling for the resignation of the speaker and encouraging UPND MP’s to continue putting pressure on the government to release the final draft constitution,” Ms. Nawakwi said.
She said there was nothing criminal in calling for the resignation of the speaker and equally nothing criminal for a political party to instruct its Members of Parliament to protest in parliament.
On the constitution making process, Ms. Nawakwi said the opposition political parties have been left with no option but to use mass pressure.
She said dialogue with the government has failed to yield any results.