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Parley ‘guns down’ firearm motion

TEDDY KUYELA, Parliament
PARLIAMENT on Wednesday rejected a private members’ motion meant to urge Government to take immediate measures to ban the indiscriminate use of privately-owned firearms, especially during elections.
The motion, which was moved by Chongwe member of Parliament (MP) Sylvia Masebo (PF), was thrown out after majority of law-makers voted against it.
This was after Deputy Minister of Justice Keith Mukata assured the house that the country has enough laws to restrict the use of privately-owned firearms in the country.
“Mr Speaker, this motion which has been raised is misconceived and incompetent because this country has enough laws to restrict the use of privately-owned firearms.
“The proposer and seconder have not advanced the reasons as to why we should support this motion,” Mr Mukata said.
After the motion was rejected, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini asked for those who were in favour of the motion and those who were not.
The response sounded equal and this forced Dr Matibini to call for a division in the house.
Those who were in favour of the motion got 25 votes and those who were against the motion got 60 votes. No-one abstained.
The House, which started debating the motion after 16:45 hours, only adjourned at 19:00 hours after Dr Matibini read out the results of the vote.
In moving the motion, Mrs Masebo said the motion was important as it could have helped in preventing cadres and candidates from moving with firearms during elections.
Seconding the motion, Lukulu West MP Misheki Mutelo proposed that the Electoral Commission of Zambia should be given enough powers to bar any political party whose cadres have been found with firearms.
And in winding up the motion, Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila assured the house that Government will not allow the indiscriminate use of firearms in the country.
Mr Mwila said his ministry will continue to provide security to all people living in Zambia despite of their ethnic, religious or political affiliations.

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