Minister of Justice and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara was at the centre of controversy in Parliament on Thursday when opposition MPs accused him of making an obscene gesture at opposition benches.
Kasambara initially irked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), when in his answer to a question on the state of magistratesâ€™ courts, said the dilapidated courts nationwide demonstrates that the DPP government had no respect for the courts.
His response attracted angry points of order from DPP with some MPs booing him.
â€œThe minister is out of order to say that the previous government had no respect for rehabilitation of the courts,â€ said leader of DPP in the House Dr George Chaponda.
Amid protests and points of order, someÂ DPP MPs could be heard shouting to attract the attention of the Speaker.
â€œA Speaker, akutukwana [Madam Speaker, the minister is making an obscene gesture at us],â€ one female MP was overheard shouting.
â€œAnayamba kalekale ameneyu [This is not the first time that he has made that obscene gesture at us],â€ shouted another from the opposition benches.
Â Chiradzulu North MP Margaret Roka Mauwa managed to get the attention of the Speaker and while lifting her middle finger, she said: â€œMadam Speaker, akutukwana [he is insulting us]. He has to tell us what is the meaning of this. He has been doing that for a long time now.â€
Mauwaâ€™s gesture attracted laughter from both sides of the House as some DPP members kept on pressing for Mphandeâ€™s reaction on the matter.
Mphande just said: â€œMembers, this is a House for honourable members.â€
Leader of the House Henry Phoya stood up and said: â€œWe are going to make real progress in the House by discussing real issues. The Minister of Justice here just flashed the DPP symbol.â€
After Phoyaâ€™s statement, business continued in the House, with Kasambara carrying on answering his remaining questions.