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Deputy Speaker chides Sampa for absenteeism

TEVEN MVULA -Lusaka
DEPUTY Speaker Mkondo Lungu yesterday reprimanded and ordered deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Miles Sampa to apologise to Parliament for being absent for 22 days without the permission of the Speaker or the Patriotic Front (PF) chief whip Yamfwa Mukanga.
On assumption of parliamentary business, Mr Lungu ordered Mr Sampa to stand behind the bar of the House while he reprimanded him for 15 minutes for unauthorised absence.
“I wish to inform the House that on December 11, 2014, the deputy Speaker in his capacity as the chairperson of the committee on privileges, absences and support services, received a letter of complaint from the chief whip Mr Mukanga, informing him that Mr Sampa had been absent from the sittings of the House without permission from me, the Speaker or the chief whip,” Mr Lungu said.
He explained that the committee met to consider Mr Sampa’s case of absenteeism and he was given an opportunity to exculpate himself.
Mr Lungu said in his submission to the committee, Mr Sampa admitted having been absent from the House, stating that during the said period, he was mourning President Sata.
Mr Sampa therefore said his absenteeism was a result of the emotional distress after the death of President Sata, who was his uncle, a father figure and a mentor.
“Honourable Sampa, as deputy minister, you have an important role of accounting to this House on the administration of government policy, projects and programmes under your portfolio.
“In order for you to effectively and efficiently perform this role, you are required to be in the House at all times,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Sampa apologised to the House.
“I apologise for my absence. In future, I shall be exemplary,” Mr Sampa said.



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