Thursday, 13 March 2014

PF Shoots Down Opposition Motion On Constitution

By Paul Shalala

The stakes were high and tempers were also high.

The atmosphere in parliament on Tuesday night was heated as members of parliament debated a Private Members Motion which was aimed at urging government to provide a roadmap for the constitution.

Newly elected Katuba member of parliament Jonas Shakafuswa was chased from the house after he kept passing running comments despite being warned by the speaker on three occassions.

His Katombora counterpart Derrick Livune was almost chased also from the house after he got two verbal warnings for running comments.

Debates on the motion moved by Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo started on Friday last week and ended last night at 20:00hrs.

Opposition members of parliament debated in support of the motion.

But Ministers and ruling Patriotic Front Backbenchers debated against the motion.

At around 20:48hrs, Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini called for a vote by acclamation.

The executive won it but immediately, all UPND MPs stood up and called for a division.

Dr Matibini later called for electronic voting but for 15 minutes minutes, Clerk of the National Assembly Doris Mwiinga and her staff tried unsuccessfully to activate the electronic voting machine which malfunctioned.

The Speaker later called for physical voting and at 21:26hrs last night, Dr Matibini announced the results.

The PF amassed 69 votes while the opposition only managed 42 votes.

Two MPs abstained from voting.

Despite losing the motion, opposition MPs mostly from the UPND, celebrated the results.

At 21:28hrs, the second sitting of the third session of the Eleventh National Assembly adjourned sine die.

This sitting opened on 11th February this year and sat for a total of 17 days.

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