By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba
The Ruling of the Speaker of the National Assembly to suspend 30 Members of Parliament for 30 days over an issue of decorum is laughable and reduces the serious position of Parliament as an oversight institution, into a joke.
Arguments are already flying to justify this draconian Ruling that a similar decision was made in 2017 by the previous speaker who suspended 48 MPs.
This doesn’t make it right or acceptable in a thriving and growing Democracy.
A wrong remains a wrong whether done under the PF Government or the UPND.
We need to encourage free and robust debates in Parliament as people’s representative body and where the Constitution is threatened as the case was in this matter, required that the Speaker acted and was seen to act as a neutral arbiter an allowed the debate to flow.
The Speaker should concern herself with the substance of debates than keen to uphold archaic regulations that promote types of dressing, conduct and British behaviour than the flow of robust national debates that should build our Democracy, offer Checks and Balances and speak for Zambians.
Further, the Speaker should have exercised patience and waited for the period of National mourning for His Excellency Fourth President, Rupiah Bwezani Banda to lapse before passing a Ruling that is divisive, acrimonious and inadvertently thrusts the nation into partisan debates.
This is a sad day in our Democracy