Three Members of Parliament were yesterday ordered out of the debating chamber and off the grounds for ignoring Deputy Speaker’s directive not to switch on microphones before being allowed by the chair. The MPs are Tundu Lissu (Singida –West), Rev Peter Msigwa (Iringa- Urban) and Godbless Lema (Arusha –Urban).
It all started after The Chief Whip, State Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, (Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs) William Lukuvi sought the Deputy Speaker’s guidance regarding some statements contained in the shadow Home Affairs budget speech.
Lukuvi described the speech presented by the Home Affairs shadow minister Godless Lema as unacceptable and meant to instigate lawlessness in the country and therefore posing a danger to the country.
While Lukuvi was still explaining his misgivings over the speech, Rev Peter Msigwa switched on his microphone asking the speaker as to why the minister was taking so long in just seeking the deputy speaker’s guidance. The deputy responded that he (Lukuvi) was on the right track.
The response did not satisfy some Chadema MPs, prompting Lissu to switch on his microphone expressing his dissatisfaction to the deputy speaker, who did not respond.
Then Lema stood up, switched on his microphone without deputy speaker’s permit to raise the same complaints.
Ndugai asked them to sit down and respect parliamentary regulations as directed earlier.
“My colleagues, in the morning we agreed here that no one is supposed to switch on microphones without the Chair’s permit. The three MPs have done so.
Please get out of the House in fact outside Parliamentary grounds,” Ndugai ordered the three Chadema MPs who immediately complied.
The MPs were then escorted by Sergeant at-arms to the gates of the Parliamentary buildings.
Speaking outside the grounds, the Chadema MPs said their stand on what they were fighting for remained intact.
“We are fighting for the proper use of the Parliamentary Standing orders by the Deputy Speaker,” Lema said.
Nyamagana MP Ezekiel Wenje was on Wednesday ordered out of the National Assembly for being ‘disrespectful’ to the chair, following a heated exchange with the House chairperson, Sylvester Mabumba.
Meanwhile, Ndugai yesterday blocked various policy questions from the MPs directed at the PM Mizengo Pinda.
The Deputy Speaker’s move started just after the parliamentary Prayer when he picked a Parliamentary Standing Orders book warning MPs against asking questions that did not target policy issues or those of national interests.
He told them that he will not allow any question that involved statistics or research.
The MPs who were blocked by the Deputy speaker’s directives include Kasulu Urban -NCCR-Mageuzi, Moses Machali who asked the PM as to when the government will allow teachers to withdraw their membership from the Tanzania Teachers Union.
The PM responded saying he believes TTU has its constitution which stipulates everything and it was through it that teachers can withdraw from being members.
Machali stood on a supplementary question, only to be interrupted several times by the deputy speaker who warned him: “Hon. Machali Machali this is the last warning,” he said, but Pinda responded, repeating that TTU had its own constitution which (Pinda) didn’t have.
When a special seats MP-Chadema, Regia Mtema questioned why 650,714,800/- were spent unwisely by public officers who were not supposed to have spent the money for purchase of furniture according to the Controller and Auditor
General, the deputy speaker again blocked the question, saying: “Hon Regia that question should not be directed to the PM.”
TLP national chairman was also stopped from asking a supplementary question regarding number of political parties getting subsidies from the government and which have been audited by the CAG.