[By Emelia Phiri]
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has warned members of parliament against wasting taxpayers’ money by making unnecessary points of order.
Responding to two separate points of order from PF members of parliament who each wanted to know who was behind the gassing of citizens, Dr Matibini said that it was not within his remedy to rule on who was behind the criminal activity.
“I have the sense of temperature here (Parliament), but let me say this, let us use our time here and energy productively. The people out there are expecting relief from this institution and are bearing the cost of running this institution and the cost is a staggering colossal,” Dr Matibini said.
He added that he did not need to expect political issues in the House adding that MPs should exercise judgment as they raised such issues.
“Here, I am sitting addressing this kind of counsel. I should not be doing this. Surely what do I do about somebody going to Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) with a lot of cadres who may accuse me of interfering with their freedom of movement as an association?” he asked.
Dr Matibini observed that on Wednesday there was a point of order raised by Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo which touched on the same subject (gassing and ‘ritual’ killings in the country) which lands minister Jean Kapata’s point of order was referring to.
“In my ruling, I did indicate that the Minister of Home Affairs [Stephen Kampyongo] should come to the House next week on Tuesday to give an update on the efforts being made by the relevant public agency to secure public safety,” said Dr Matibini. “The sense of point of order which the minister (Kapata) seeks touches on the alleged celebration about these pitiful incidents and it is not within my remit to rule or adjudicate on the response which certain members of the public may be giving to these very unfortunate events. It is not even the business of this House to…I would urge honourable members to wait until the Minister of Home Affairs comes to the House to update. And those reactions whether they are politically motivated or otherwise are not my concern; it is not my business as Speaker of the House. There are other platforms of course available for you as politicians to engage one another however you engage one another.”