Zambia suspends 48 opposition MPs for boycotting President’s speech

The Zambian parliament on Tuesday suspended 48 opposition lawmakers for boycotting Zambia’s president, Edgar Lungu’s address at the official opening of the assembly in March

The lawmakers from the United Party for National Development (UPND) skipped Lungu’s address claiming he was not the legitimate winner of the 2016 election.
Parliament Speaker Patrick Matibini announced the suspension of the 48 lawmakers since they are yet to recognize Lungu as the head of state.
“I challenge you to resign on moral grounds if you do not recognize that there is a legitimately elected government,” Matibini said in parliament.
“I have, in exercise of my powers, decided to suspend the 48 members of parliament from service for a period of 30 days with effect from today.”
Matibini said that the lawmakers would not be paid or have access to the parliament building or lodgings during their suspension.
The leader of  UPND’, Hakainde Hichilema, who also has refused to recognize Lungu as president with claims that the Presidential election was rigged to favour the President, was arrested in April alongside five others for allegedly failing to give way to President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade.
Hichilema and the five are currently facing treason charges and are being detained at a maximum prison jail in Kabwe.

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