Speaker was wrong

Speaker of National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini had no authority or right to speak for and therefore preempt decisions reserved for courts of  law .

Former UPND  Siavonga Member of Parliament Douglas Syakalima says courts should be allowed to preside and determine matters before them without interference.

Mr. Syakalima said that authorities existed where courts have struck out and overruled parliament, “In the case of The Post Newspaper’s Editor In-chief Fred M’membe and Lucy Sichone who were convicted by parliament but ran to court and the sentence imposed by parliament was overruled by the courts of law.”

They had challenged the constitutionality of the National Assembly Powers And Privileges Act.

Dr Matibini said under the separation of powers, Parliament is given freedom to debate matters and does not get orders from any institutions hence the House was free to observe its own rules and procedures.

This was in his ruling to a point of order raised by UPND Monze Member of Parliament (MP) Jack Mwiimbu regarding the removal of  immunity of former President Rupiah Banda.

Dr Matibini explained that Parliament was an independent institution and does not get orders from any other institution hence was free to observe its own rules and procedures.

He said the court documents served to the Clerk of National Assembly could not apply to the House because it currently enjoyed freedom to determine its own matters in the spirit of separation of powers through its Standing Orders.

But Mr. Syakalima said that it was wrong and not right for Dr. Matibini to be seen to support people with questionable characters pushing for an agenda which was aimed at victimizing the people of Zambia.

“It is disappointing that Dr. Matibini who is my friend started interpreting the law in parliament when it was not his job to do so. The job of parliament is to make laws and not to interpret the laws because that is the job of the judiciary. He overstretched his powers to even allow for another illegality,” he said.

Mr. Syakalima said that there was nothing the people of Zambia should expect from the PF government because they had no clue how to govern and what they were doing now was to fix their opponents using parliament and numbers in the National Assembly.

He said that it was disappointing that instead of being impartial, “Dr. Matibini was partial. Just imagine the way he misdirected the house in his ruling forgetting that he has made rulings to stop parliament from debating matters in courts of law because those issues where before the courts of law. For instance expulsion of MPs and I mean opposition MPs. This speaker has discredited the house and I doubt his integrity. It is shameful and shameful indeed to show such biasness openly,” he said.

Mr. Syakalima said that the Speaker of the National Assembly has disgraced parliament for conducting himself in a manner which was not in the best interest of the country.

He said that said that the route the Speaker took in allowing the motion when the matter was before the courts of law was an act  of abuse of office and a desperate way of deception.

“What transpired on Friday is shameful and disappointing to the nation. I am personally extremely disappointed with the Speaker of the National Assembly the presiding officer of parliamentary activities or debates. He allowed parliament to breach the constitution by allowing the house to debate the motion which was before the courts of law,” he said.

Mr. Syakalima reminded the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Matibini that parliament was not above the law and that it was not his duty or the duty of parliament to interpret the law in the manner he did.

He said that the sanctity of the National Assembly was in Members of Parliament to conduct themselves in a sanctity way rather than what transpired on Friday where parliament was turned into a play ground as a result of the partiality of the speaker.

“Actually Sinda Member of Parliament Levy Ngoma was right to stand up and defend the constitution and the integrity of the house by telling off the speaker that he was the cause of the commotion in parliament for failing to follow the procedure. We need men and women of that standing in that house. Parliament has lost respect for the first time in the history of Zambia,” he said.

He said that it was not right for the speaker to help people with a questionable character to push for an agenda which was aimed at victimizing the people of Zambia.