Parley Kangaroo court flops

An attempt by Parliament to form a kangaroo court to settle political scores has boomeranged as the committee before which five opposition Parliamentarians were to appear yesterday has been disbanded.

Instead of referring the alleged misconduct of Parliamentarians to the privileges, absences and support services, a select committee which Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo has described as a Kangaroo Court meant to settle scores was set up.

At the same time, many members of the new ‘select committee’ have recused themselves for being conflicted as they participated in the protest on the floor of the House at the height of the demands for the release of the draft constitution.

“I want to know in no uncertain terms where the institution draws its authority from to constitute this committee in order for it not to be deemed a committee to settle scores or a Kangaroo court,” Mr Nkombo said in his letter to the Clerk of the National Assembly Doris Mwiinga in which he was seeking clarification on his summoning.

And All People’s Congress Party president Nason Msoni has again demanded the resignation of Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini for  turning the National Assembly into a second Patriotic Front (PF) secretariat in the manner he was running the affairs of the House.

Mr. Msoni said that the dignity of the National Assembly has been brought into question because of the bias manner Dr. Matibini was running the House.

“Dr Matibini has misconducted himself without question. The dignity of the House has been reduced to a level unprecedented in the history of the country and nothing can atone to this other than to ask the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini to consider his limited option of stepping down,” said Mr. Msoni.

The quartet plus one MPs were expected to appear before Parliamentary select committee yesterday in the morning but the committee was instead disbanded on Monday for what the Clerk of the National Assembly called technical reasons.

But Mr Nkombo has demanded that Ms Mwiinga must state where the Standing Orders Committee drew its authority to award the said select committee legitimacy to deal with points of orders that were in the ambit of the committee on privileges, absences and support services.   He said as soon as the new committee was correctly constituted, he would be ready to appear before it to state his position. Initially, Parliament has summoned United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema and his counterpart of the All People’s Congress (APC) president Nason Musoni for instructing the MPs to continue with their protest in the House and demanding the resignation of the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini respectively.

Clerk of the National Assembly Doris Mwiinga on Monday summoned UPND Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo along with Monze Central MP Kack Mwimbu, MMD’s Mwandi MP Michael Kaingu, his counterparts from Mafinga, Cathrine Namugala and Vincent Mwale of Chipangali to appear before the Parliamentary select committee.

And Mr Msoni said because of the compromised and partisan behavior of Dr Matibini, Parliament had lost public confidence and was operating like another secretariat of the PF.

Mr. Msoni said that the only action to take in order to redeem the image of the institution was for Dr. Matibini to resign.

“Our view has always been the same on Dr. Matibini in that the principle separation of power has been gravely undermined because no political system can work when the legislature is habitually partisan and the Head of the executive is dysfunctional and the judiciary is a serious leadership quagmire with Chief Justice held hostage by the executive in her acting capacity,” he said, Mr. Msoni also said that the National Assembly needed serious and genuine reforms which should start with the resignation of Dr. Matibini. The last session of the National Assembly was the most acrimonious as opposition Members of Parliament staged a demonstration right on the floor of the House Prompting the Speaker to prematurely adjourn the sessions.