OPPOSITION members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday walked out of the House in protest against the removal of former President Rupiah Banda's immunity.
The members from MMD and United Party for National Development (UPND) argued that the matter was before the courts of law and members could not debate it.
This was after Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba moved the motion to remove the immunity on Mr Banda.
The motion states that: " in terms of Article 43 of the Constitution, that the House resolve that Mr Banda who had held but no longer holds the Office of President may be charged with any criminal offence or be amenable to the criminal jurisdiction of any court, in respect of any act done or omitted to be done by him in his personal capacity, while he held the Office of the President and that such proceedings would not be contrary to the interests of the State."
As Mr Kabimba stood to present the motion, several opposition members kept interjecting, stating loudly that the motion was illegal because the matter was in court.
Some of the members such as MMD Chipangali MP Vincent Mwale were seen bashing a bottle of water on the table.
The water splashed on UPND Mazabuka MP Garry Nkombo's table and it had to take one of the members of staff to mop the dripping water.
Despite Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini guiding the House, opposition MPs stood up and interrupted proceedings.
Dr Matibini explained that despite the matter of Mr Banda's immunity being in the courts of law, Parliament was an independent institution whose motions cannot be curtailed through a court process.
After pressing for further explanations from Dr Matibini, the MPs around 17:07 hours walked out of the House. They assembled within the main passage of the House and held a caucus meeting.
Security officers from the National Assembly sealed off all doors and could not allow anybody to walk out of the premises.
A heavy presence of armed police officers in full riot gear also came to Parliament gates as some of Mr Banda's sympathisers attempted to break the National Assembly gate.
Earlier, UPND Kalomo MP Request Muntanga rose on a point of order and wondered why there was a heavy presence of paramilitary officers whom he said were intimidating the law makers.
In his ruling, Dr Matibini said the measure was put in place because of reports that some cadres had wanted to come to Parliament to create confusion.
"Obstruction is not the best thing we should do and I think I am being very diplomatic and this is an august House and we need to respect the dignity of this House," The Speaker said in reference to opposition MPs who kept on obstructing ZNBC cameras.