Zambians should ignore Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini’s threats as they are merely aimed at stopping them from checking his alleged biased conduct in managing Parliament, says All People’s Congress (APC) president, Nason Msoni.
Mr. Msoni said Zambians should not be intimidated by anybody because the law was clear on the freedom of expression.
He was reacting to Dr. Matibini’s warning on Friday that the APC leader risked being punished or prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for criticising the speaker.
Mr. Msoni said it was worrying that Dr. Matibini wanted to hide his alleged misconduct in Parliamentary privileges by resorting to threatening individuals and other stakeholders on matters of national interest.
“We will take no notice of any warning or tutelage of the rights and parameters of democracy. The fact that a wrong decision was upheld by the Speaker, questions the integrity of that office.
I have to remind him that MPs are honourable members and therefore, dignity should be given to them,” he said.
Mr. Msoni said the suggestion by the Speaker that opposition MPs were fraudsters was regrettable, adding that no one envisaged the word fraudster to be imposed on elected leaders.
“I want to question whether the Speaker was in order to refer to MPs as fraudsters. I feel he is not, he is out of order. On that basis of such fraud adjudication, we think that he is unqualified to console or censure anyone on the issue of freedoms of expression and its limitation,” he said.
Mr. Msoni said it was, therefore, important for Dr. Matibini to know that no one would take such thinly viled threats lying down.
“We shall fight to the bitter end that we promise him. The threats from Dr. Matibini were just a small storm in a tea cup. We shall continue to criticize him if we see omissions on his part. We shall continue to draw his attention to areas where he shows biasness in the manner he conducts himself,” he said.
Mr. Msoni said Dr. Matibini’s alleged bias ruling had exposed him to public discussion and therefore, there was need on his part to change and elevate the office of the Speaker from its current form without being arm twisted.