The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Clement Chiwaya has given Member of Parliament for Mwanza Central Constituency a one-week suspension for “inappropriate dressing”.
This was after Katsonga arrived at Parliament on Tuesdaywearing Mthini, a Ngoni traditional headgear.
However, the suspension did not go down well with Katsonga who questioned the legality of the suspension, arguing Standing Orders are silent on the wearing of traditional attire in the chamber.
Soon after being kicked out of Parliament, Katsonga said he will do everything within his powers to defend his tribal and cultural beliefs and traditions.
“First of all, when a Speaker makes a ruling, he/she must be 100 percent certain that the Standing Order that he/she has cited is indeed operational on the issue he/she is about to rule upon. Yes, the official dress [code] for male members of the National Assembly shall be dark suit, long trousers, a tie and a jacket.
“In other words, I could come to the chamber without a shirt at all as long as I’m wearing a necktie, I would be allowed. As simple as that! I can come to the House without shoes, which are not mentioned [in the section]. And that’s acceptable. But is that part of a dress code? No, it’s not.”
He wondered why National Assemnly allows bungles that are not part of the House’s dress code.
Katsonga dared the office of the Speaker to desist from legislating against dress code.
“Are bungles part of the dress code? No, they are not. But they are allowed. The history of this House is that; right from Yatuta Chisiza, Lekeka Mkandawire, Honourable Ngaunje and others have over the years spotted in it. It’s a non issue; it’s an adornment. It’s something extra that we can wear,” he said.
Katsonga says he is willing to go to court to defend his dress code.