Zambia’s parliament suspended a cabinet minister on Tuesday from its proceedings for one month for slapping a fellow lawmaker within parliament grounds.
Verbal abuse is common among members of parliament in Zambia but physical assault is rare.
Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini said Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo was suspended for slapping outspoken lawmaker Chishimba Kambwili last October, describing his conduct as unbefitting of a Member of Parliament.
“This is a House of honour, decorum and dignity and I am duty bound to ensure that the honour, decorum and dignity of the House is protected and preserved at all times”, said the Speaker.
The suspension bars Lusambo from accessing the physical premises of parliament and denies him allowances and salary as a member of parliament for the month in question.
Kambwili has repeatedly accused government officials of corruption since his dismissal as information and broadcasting minister in November 2016 but the state denies the allegations.
Kambwili complained after the incident that Lusambo had slapped him twice after accusing Kambwili of making false accusations against the government.