Speaker Matibini counsels HH against ridiculing parliament

Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has censured United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema for ridiculing parliament.

Matibini said he found Hichilema guilty under the parliamentary privileges and contempt of the house for ridiculing Parliament and the office of the Speaker.

Matibini however avoided picking a fight with Hichilema by just advising him instead of citing him for prosecution.

This follows an article in the Daily Mail of 9th December, 2011 headlined “Arrest me, HH dares Sata” in which he doubted the credibility of the Speaker Partrick Matibini and questioned his impartiality by accusing him of siding with ruling Patriotic Front (MPs).

Matibini was sponsored by the PF to be elected speaker.

Kawambwa Member of Parliament Nickson Chilangwa asked the speaker whether the conduct of the UPND leader did not constitute a serious breach of the law and whether it was not a serious affront to the integrity of the Speaker and the whole House.

In his ruling, Matibini wondered how he has been siding with PF MPs claiming that records show that out of the 109 points of order raised in the house, opposition MPs the raised the majority.

Matibini stated in his ruling that Hichilema ridiculed the house in his statement and also caused to be published misleading information which amounts to contempt of the house, which upon conviction would attract a penalty of 5,000 units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both.

But Matibini said he graciously decided to just counsel Hichilema and the general public to desist from attacking the house and the office of the Speaker even though breach committed by the UPND leader warrants prosecution

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