By McDonald Chipenzi
I thought this may help some people as they anticipate what the Speaker and the National Assembly at large would do to the MPs who boycotted the sitting during the presidential address last week.
Not to over expect, the National Assembly (Powers, Privileges and Immunities) (Amendment) Act No. 13 of 2016 guides the Assembly and the Speaker on how to carry out disciplinary measures against an erring member (s) as follows;
Section 28 (1) of the cited Act above states “Where a member is found to have committed a contempt of the Assembly, whether specified in section nineteen or otherwise, the Speaker, the Committee on Privileges or a select committee appointed under subsection (6) may impose any one or more of the following penalties:
(a) a formal warning;
(b) an admonition;
(c) a reprimand; and
(d) an order directing the member to apologise to the
Assembly, in a manner determined by the Assembly.
Section 19 specifies the following contempt cases against the National Assembly by members or and non members, the Act states, “Any person shall be guilty of an offence who- (a) having been called upon to give evidence before the Assembly or committee thereof refuses to be sworn or make an affirmation;
or (b) being a witness misconducts himself;
or (c) causes an obstruction or disturbance within the precincts of the Assembly Chamber during a sitting of the Assembly or of a committee thereof; or (d) shows disrespect in speech or manner towards the Speaker; or (e) commits any other act of intentional disrespect to or with reference to the proceedings of the Assembly or of a committee of the Assembly or to any person presiding at such proceedings.”
Section 28 (2) states “Where a member is found to have committed contempt of the Assembly of a serious nature and none of the other penalties are sufficient for the contempt committed by the member, the Speaker shall, on the resolution of the Assembly, suspend the member from the Assembly for a period not exceeding thirty days.
Section 28 (3) guides “A member who is suspended from the Assembly shall, during the period of suspension and for the purposes of this Act—(a) not enter the precincts of the Assembly;
(b) not participate in an activity of the Assembly or a committee; an
(c) not be paid the salary or allowance the member is entitled to for the member’s service as a member.”
We can now engage in either legal or moral debate debate !