Ministers absenteeism forces Parliament to adjourn prematurely

Parliament Tuesday evening adjourned prematurely following a series of serious points of order raised by at least four opposition Members of Parliament, who sought serious rulings from the Speaker on whether the Chief Whip, Yamfwa Mukanga, was in order to constantly allow a serious situation of Cabinet Ministers absenteeism to continue unabated.

MPs indicated that sitting after sitting, majority of the Ministers abscond themselves from the House without the Chief Whip providing any explanation despite numerous points of orders on the matter. During today’s sitting, points of orders on the same concern were raised by Gwembe MP, Brian Ntundu, Sinda MP, Levy Ngoma, Chipata Central MP, MtoloPhiri,  and Solwezi Central MP, Lucky Mulusa,who sought explanations on why the Ministers must stay away from such important debates such as the President’s State of the Nation Address.

This is unprecedented in the history of Parliament where Parliament’s business has had to be curtailed as a result of lack of seriousness from the ruling party. Meanwhile, despite the MPs demanding an explanation, the Chief Whip remained mute as the reason for the absence would not have gone down well with Parliamentarians.

Reliable sources from within the PF indicate that the reason the entire government was missing was that they had gone to deal with issues surrounding the embattled PF Secretary General Winter Kabimba. The only Cabinet Ministers available were; Minister for Defence, Geoffrey BwalyaMwamba, Minister for Education, John Phiri, and Minister for Works and Supply, Transport, and Telecommunications, who is also, Chief Whip, Yamfwa Mukanga.

The rest were absent, some together with their deputy Ministers thus making debate of the President’s speech an academic exercise.In total less than 33 MPs from the government were present out of a possible total of 85 comprising ministers appointed from the opposition, nominated MPs, and PF MPs.