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Zambia Suspends 48 Opposition MPs for Snubbing President’s Speech

By Chris Mfula, Andrew Heavens

Zambia’s parliament suspended 48 opposition lawmakers on Tuesday for boycotting a speech by the president, widening a political rift that has alarmed rights groups.

According to  Reuters, Parliament’s speaker barred the United Party for National Development (UPND) politicians from taking their seats for 30 days, a move that banned them from the building and stopped their pay.

Their party, which was defeated in August elections that it said were rigged, called the suspensions unconstitutional.
The lawmakers boycotted President Edgar Lungu’s address at the official opening of the assembly in March, saying they did not recognize him as leader.

A month later, the UPND’s leader, Hakainde Hichilema, and five others were arrested and charged with treason after a column of opposition vehicles failed to make way for Lungu’s motorcade.

Amnesty International has said the treason charges are “trumped up” and called for the politicians’ release.

On Tuesday, parliament’s speaker Patrick Matibini told the opposition lawmakers: “I challenge you to resign on moral grounds if you do not recognize that there is a legitimately elected government.”

The suspensions affected 48 of the party’s 58 MPs. The remaining 10 had officially excused themselves from attending parliament on the day of Lungu’s speech and were not included in the suspension.
Hichilema was moved from a prison in Lusaka to a maximum security facility outside the capital on June 9.

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Written by Nditoeka

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5 Comments on "Zambia Suspends 48 Opposition MPs for Snubbing President’s Speech"

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David Gutierrez
David Gutierrez

That’s why Africa will never grow, their leaders seem not to respect rules. They loot and steal money, they don’t care about their people, all they care is their ego and pockets, I’ve interacted with most of them, so I can tell you their history.. They will always ask you that they have money that they want you to help them open a business for them elsewhere.. Why not your country? Sometimes I asked, I want to secure a future for my family, sad

That Ghanaian Girl

It’s a trend in Africa, but obsession about power is everywhere , not only in Africa. I’ve followed the Trump-Comey controversy in the US closely, it’s only a blind that won’t admit that Trump is guilty of obstruction of Justice..

Abel Udoekene Jnr

David, thank you for your observation, I believe Africa will grow, Africa is growing, we may have face some difficulties, but I know that everything is just fine

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