Business returned to normal in the afternoon of Tuesday after Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera told the opposition bench to put national interest first before personal interest.
The House resumed seating at 2pm but business was derailed as opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP) putting pressure on government to give them a K3 million loan each and raise their sitting allowance from K50000 to K80000.
The legislators wasted a good one and half hours refusing to discuss the national budget presented by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe on May 27.
They threatened not to pass the K1.1 trillion budget until their demands were met.
Gondwe then met the House committee that deals with the welfare of the legislators and the deliberations resumed later.
The MPs get a K50000 subsistence allowance every day when parliament is meeting or when they are in committee meetings. They also get K1.5 million as basic monthly salary each in addition to K400 per kilometre for their motor vehicle .
Deputy Leader of the House, Kondwani Nankhumwa said the government cannot meet the demands now.
“The state of the economy do not allow us to meet the demands now. We will do that in future,” he said.
Nankhumwa said delays in passing the budget as planned by the opposition would affect the poor as government will not be able to buy maize for the 8000 vulnerable people on time, the provision of subsidized farm inputs would delay and procurement of drugs would also be affected among key issues.
The opposition members of parliament who spoke in the House cited the high cost of living as reason for their demands.
Cabinet ministers tried in vain to force the parliamentarians back to business.
But Chakwera stood up and told his subjects to go back to work.
He told the protesting MCP and PP legislators that they should put their personal interests second and national interests first. This was soon after Gondwe had just come from a meeting with the House political leadership on the same.
Immediately after this, the chairman of Budget and Finance Committee Rhino Chiphiko presented his statement to the House in reaction to the budget statement.
However, the House was prematurely adjourned 45 minutes before time after only one MP, Blantyre City Central MP made his contribution because other legislators were not ready with their contributions.
The House has since been adjourned to Wednesday at 2pm.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :