Zambian parliament dismisses reports of lawmakers demanding more allowance

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Speaker of the Zambian parliament on Thursday dismissed reports that opposition and independent lawmakers had demanded doubling of their sitting allowances after the House resolved to start proceedings in the morning.

Last week, lawmakers agreed that they would be starting their sittings in the mornings instead of afternoon in order to complete the business of debating the budget and pass it before the end of the year.

However, there have been reports in local media that lawmakers from the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) had rejected the motion to commence sittings in the morning unless they were assured that their allowances would be doubled.

President Edgar Lungu is also quoted condemning the opposition lawmakers, saying it was clear that they were greedy and not interested in serving the public.

But Speaker of the parliament Patrick Matibini said the lawmakers did not raise any such matters and urged the media and the general public to be factual when commenting on parliamentary proceedings.

The speaker, who was making a ruling on a point of order raised by an opposition lawmaker who wanted to know if the Zambian leader was in order to cast suspicions on opposition lawmakers that they were greedy, said the matter of extension of sitting hours was referred to a parliamentary committee which will deal with it.

Meanwhile, the opposition party has also reacted to insinuations that its lawmakers were greedy with an interest of only enriching themselves.

Cornelius Mweetwa, the party’s deputy spokesperson said the party’s lawmakers did not ask for the doubling of their sitting allowances because they were mindful of the current economic situation facing the country. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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