The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has threatened to suspend legislators who heckle the president, whenever he comes to address parliament.
According to Kadaga, although some legislators disagree with the president’s views, they should allow him to deliver his message and debate the issues during plenary.
She cited the behavior of some legislators during the State of the Nation Address and Budget day.
Rule 10 (4) of the Parliament Rules of Procedure provides that “The President, while occupying the chair of State may make a Presidential statement, which shall be heard in silence and not followed by any comment or question; and shall not otherwise participate in the proceedings of the House in any way.’
Kadaga also noted with concern the misconduct of MPs during the campaigns of the candidates for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in February. She said the behavior of some legislators violated the Parliament Rules of Procedure.
Appendix F of the parliament rules of procedure, under Public Trust, says that ‘Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner, which will maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament and never undertake any action which may bring the House or its Members generally, into disrepute.’
Last week, Patrick Matibini, the Speaker of the Zambian parliament suspended 48 opposition lawmakers for boycotting a speech by President Edgar Lungu’s at the official opening of the country’s assembly in March, saying they did not recognize him as leader.
The legislators from the United Party for National Development (UPND) were barred from taking their seats for 30 days, a move that banned them from the parliament building and stopped their pay.