March 20, 2018 / 2:57 PM / 6 months ago

Zambia bans cabinet minister from parliament for slapping lawmaker

LUSAKA (Reuters) - 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.

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.

Lusambo was banned from entering parliament grounds and using its facilities during the period of suspension and would not be entitled to any allowances, Matibini said.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia and Susan Fenton

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