Last updateJeu, 29 Jan 2015 3pm

Speaker forced to adjourn parliament as opposition MPs refuse to debate

Zambia’s Speaker of the National Assembly, Patrick Matibini, was on Wednesday forced to adjourn parliament after opposition members of parliament for the second day running refused to take part in debates, demanding only to debate the constitution.

On Tuesday, parliament was also forced to adjourn prematurely after opposition MPs who were scheduled to ask questions did not ask.

This is the fourth time that the Speaker has been forced to suspend business of the House.

Last week, parliament was forced to suspend business for two days after opposition MPs demanded to discuss the constitution.

The opposition MPs are demanding that parliament only debates issues relating to constitution-making process and government releases the draft constitution.

Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba last week told parliament that the delay to release the draft constitution was caused by the technical committee which took the draft constitution to his office instead of to the President who is the appointing authority.

He said he is consulting with President Michael Sata on the handover of the draft constitution by the technical committee.

The Speaker on Wednesday told the House that MPs who intentionally miss parliamentary business would not be receiving their sitting allowances.

Pana 06/03/2014