Scott’s Bodyguards Were in Order – Speaker

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has told Parliament that Vice-President Guy Scott’s security personnel were in order to enter the House during its last sitting to ensure his protection at the climax of protests by the opposition bench demanding the enactment of a new Constitution.

Dr Matibini was passing a ruling on a point of order raised during the previous sitting on February 28, this year by Mwandi MMD Member of Parliament (MP) Michael Kaingu asking whether Dr Scott was in order to bring armed men in the House for his protection and that of his loved ones.

“Hon Members, Dr Guy Scott, MP, holds the second highest office in the country as the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia. The office entitles the Vice-President to security protection at all times.

“Hon Members will vividly recall that at the material time, there was gross disorderly conduct in the House caused by the opposition MPs. Therefore, due to the insecure situation the House was in, the Vice-President’s security officers were in my opinion justified to enter the House for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the Vice-President,” Dr Matibini ruled.

Dr Matibini said in Lusaka yesterday that the action by the Vice-President’s bodyguards was reasonable and justified under the circumstances and needless to mention that such security officers were entitled and expected to be armed.

“In the premise, therefore, my ruling is that the Vice-President did not breach any rule of the House and his security officers were in order to enter the House for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the Vice-President,” he added.

In another ruling regarding the opposition protests, the Speaker warned MMD Chipangali MP, Vincent Mwale for recording events during the protests using an iPad.

The point of order on Mr Mwale’s conduct was raised by Patriotic Front (PF) MP for Chipili, Davies Mwila, who asked whether his Chipangali Constituency counterpart was in order to carry a camera and film the happenings in the House.

Dr Matibini, who had reserved ruling at the time, said investigations by his office revealed that Mr Mwale did have an iPad on the material day and did film the proceedings of the House.

“The rules of this House do not permit a member to take pictures in the House or film the proceedings of the House. In view of this, by bringing an iPad into the House and using it to film the proceedings of the House, Mr Mwale, MP, behaved in a dishonourable manner and breached the rule regarding the use of a device such as an iPad in the House,” he said.

He reminded Mr Mwale that he belonged to a dignified House which demanded of MPs to behave in a manner that extolled its dignity and integrity.

“I do understand that the mood in the House at the material time may have evoked some excitement in some members, but that still did not justify your action. You and every Member were bound to observe the rules of the House,” he said.

He warned Mr Mwale against repeating such a conduct, as this would attract a stiff penalty and aised the opposition MP to strictly abide by the rules governing the House.

In his third ruling, the Speaker touched the point of order raised by Youth and Sport Minister Chishimba Kambwili on February 28, this year, which stated that Dr Kaingu exhibited disrespect for the Speaker and brought the House into disrepute, when he (Dr Kaingu) said, “we have removed the respect from you, Mr Speaker, and it appears that you do not understand English”.

Dr Matibini said verbatim evidence indicated that Dr Kaingu did not utter the words as quoted by Mr Kambwili, adding that the Minister’s point of order misrepresented Dr Kaingu.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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