Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza says the 30 days suspension slapped on 48 UPND Members of Parliament by the Speaker of the National Assembly is illegal.
Mwanza has explained that according to order 72(3) of the National Assembly Standing Orders, if a member of parliament shows contempt against Parliament or the presiding officer for the first time, the suspension should be for a period of 7 days, 14 days for the second time and 30 days for the third time.
He notes that in the case of the UPND Members of Parliament it is only the second time that they have shown contempt and therefore should have been suspended for a period 14 days.
Mr. Mwanza has since advised the 48 suspended UPND Members of Parliament to seek judicial review over their 30 days suspension.
He states that much as it was expected that the parliamentarians could be punished or suspended, the criteria used to arrive at the 30 days period is questionable.