Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, has said he will not apologise for calling Members of Parliament (MP) childish.
Mtambo was reacting to Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani, who had asked Mtambo to come to Parliament and apologise for telling the media that the MPs were childish.
“Let me repeat what I said, the members of Parliament are childish, how can they suspend the [august] House just because of our presence.
What security issues were they referring to? In fact, the government members of Parliament are supposed to apologise for calling us thugs. How can an honourable member call citizens thugs? That is uncalled for and HRDC is condemning this kind of behaviour,” Mtambo said On Tuesday, Parliament was suspended as Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence made their appearance in Parliament’s visitors’ gallery.
Deputy Leader of the House, Martha Chanjo Mhone, moved a motion that deliberations be suspended for the business committee to discuss security issues of the House. On Wednesday when the House commenced its proceedings, Botomani requested that Mtambo should apologise for the calling the MPs childish.
“Madam Speaker, through your office, I ask that you should call the Human Rights Defenders Coalition to appear before any relevant committee and apologise for calling Members of Parliament childish. We condemned this and it is uncalled for,” he said.
However, Speaker of the House, Catherine Gotani- Hara, said she needed to consult on the matter. However, there was heavy security at the National Assembly on Wednesday when visitors were not allowed and journalists were told to carry copies of national identification cards when entering the main gate at Parliament main premises.