Political parties should endeavor to discipline their erring Members of Parliament trying to take violence to parliament, says the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) executive director Horrance Chilando.
On Thursday evening, quick action by Parliament security prevented UPND Katombora Member of Parliament Derick Livune from charging towards and physically attacking Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda while he was winding up debate on the motion to Increase amount outstanding at any one time on domestic and external loans.
Mr. Chilando said it was embarrassing for Members of Parliament to behave in a manner unbefitting of a legislator when democracy entails that those in the majority would always win.
“It was very unfortunate and it calls for a re-think. We are also expecting the sponsoring political parties to take keen interest in the manner the MPs behave,” he said.
About 20 uniformed security personnel had to be called in to stop Mr Livune from throwing punches at Information Minister Chishimba Kambwili.
He said political parties should take interest in the way some of their members of Parliament behaved in the house. “That is an honourable house and that it is why they are called honorable members because we expect that they can rise above emotional issue,” Mr. Chilando said.
He said MPs should learn to resolve matters in an amicable manner because it was not everything they expected to be voted in their favor.
Mr Chilando said the near punch-up by MPs showed lack of comprehension of what parliamentary procedure was.
“MPs should know that they cannot win all the time when a bill is tabled in parliament.
Democracy entails that those who are in the majority will always win because it favors the majority. And so if your idea has failed to gain the majority support, don’t think using force is the right way to go,” Mr. Chilando said.
He said political parties should take disciplinary action against their members because it would have been terrible if violence had taken root in Parliament.