Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini says he will render a measured ruling on the continued walk outs by opposition UPND members of parliament every time Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela stands to address the House.
Dr Matibini made the ruling after a PF member of parliament rose on a point of order to find out if opposition MPs where in order to walk out every time the minister stood to respond to questions when there were some UPND members who were also appearing in court for corrupt charges.
On Friday, opposition UPND MPs walked out as Chitotela was responding to a question for Oral Answer and they did the same yesterday.
“Sir, are all colleagues on the left, the UPND in particular in order to be walking out of this August house every time honorable Chitotela, Minister of Infrastructure and Housing stands up to respond to an oral question. Sir, you may be aware [and it’s already] in public domain that just a few days ago, one member from the other side was arrested and before that one another one was also arrested for being questioned in the areas of corruption. One is actually arrested. So are they in order? Knowing that they also have members of parliament within their family who are being questioned by the authorities over corruption practices and there is evidence to that matter. Are they in order to walk out of this house? Sir I need your serious ruling,” a PF member of parliament asked.
In his ruling, Dr Matibini said he would render a measured ruling in due course.
Earlier yesterday, the same PF member of parliament had stood on another point of order seeking the Speaker’s ruling on why the UPND on Friday walked out from them the minister’s address.
“My point of order goes to the United Party for National Development. In the last sitting, every time our honorable Minister for Infrastructure Development Honorable Chitotela stood up to speak, our colleagues on the left all walked out alleging that he is being investigated on corruption matters but are they, Mr Speaker in order to conduct themselves in that manner when we are perfectly aware that [from] the same side, there are two Honorable that are being investigated also on matters of corruption? Are they in order sir,” he said.
Dr Matibini said the point of order was incompetent.
“My ruling to the point of order…by referring to the last sitting which I presume he meant last week is not contemporaneous. A point of order needs to be raised contemporaneously. For that reason alone, the point of order is incompetent,” said Dr Matibini.