21 November 2012

Zambia: Speaker Orders Hamiyanze to Apologise

SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Patrick Matibini, yesterday ordered a member of the public, Opper Hamiyanze, to apologise to UPND Monze Central MP, Jack Mwiimbu and Parliament for his disparaging remarks uttered during a radio programme.

Mr Hamiyanze uttered the remarks on a programme dubbed 'Open Forum' on Sky FM Radio in Southern Province on October 18, this year.

He is said to have issued defamatory, disparaging and scandalous remarks against Mr Mwiimbu to the effect that the MP was intoxicated when he raised a point of order relating to the delivery of the 2013 national Budget speech by Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda.

Mr Hamiyanze, among other things, stated during the radio programme that "Jack Mwiimbu moved a motion when he was not sober in his mind. Even from the way he was articulating matters."

In his ruling, Dr Matibini said the Committee on Absences, Privileges and Support Services had interviewed Mr Mwiimbu, Mr Hamiyanze and further listened to the recording of the remarks on Sky FM.

Dr Matibini said after considering all evidence, the committee found Mr Hamiyanze guilty of breach of Parliamentary Privilege and in contempt of the House.

"In determining the punishment to impose on Mr Hamiyanze, the committee took into account that he was a first offender. However, the committee was appalled that in spite of the enormity of the offences committed, Mr Hamiyanze's demeanour, was that of arrogance and devoid of any remorse whatsoever for the statements he made against Hon JJ Mwiimbu, MP, and the House, as a whole," Dr Matibini said.

He said the committee recommended that Mr Hamiyanze be banned from entering the precincts of the House for the remainder of the Second Session of the 11th National Assembly.

The committee also recommended that Mr Hamiyanze be severely reprimanded before the House in accordance with Section 28(3) of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap.12 of the Laws off Zambia which stated that,

"28 (3) if any person not being a member commits a contempt, whether specified in section nineteen or otherwise, the assembly may, by resolution, direct that the Speaker shall order such person to appear before the Assembly and that he shall, upon such attendance, reprimand him at the Bar of the Assembly".

Dr Matibini ordered Mr Hamiyanze after voting in which the majority won, that he stands before the bar where he rendered his apology to Mr Mwiimbu and the House at large before he left.

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