Leader of the House, George Chaponda (Democratic Progressive Party—DPP) attracted the wrath of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) members in parliament when he alleged that the former ruling party had more nepotistic and tribalistic tendencies during its 30-year-rule.
Chaponda was reacting to accusation from an MCP lawmaker who was making his contribution to the state of the nation address by President Peter Mutharika and accused DPP of only favouring the Lhomwe tribe.
The Leader of the House said MCP were recruiting people from Chewa dominated central region, its stronghold and that people from other regions were marginalised.
“The people in senior positions came from the Central Region during the MCP era. Everybody knows,” said Chaponda.
He added by accusing MCP of its atrocities.
“We had to run away from this country because of you. Yes, human rights abuses. Killing people, five Ministers were killed in cold blood,” said Chaponda who lived in exile during the one party dictatorship.
But MCP Deputy Chief Whip, Dedza South MP Clement Mlombwa, described Chaponda’s remarks as “inflammatory”, saying members are talking of current issues.
“We are not talking about the past. We are talking of current issues to do with the current DPP-led government. So we would want to stop those kinds of atrocities that are happening now,” said Mlombwa.
He continued: “Yes, the Malawi Congress Party might have committed atrocities before, but it is not this current Malawi Congress Party. This is a new and totally different Malawi Congress Party. We are talking about the atrocities of this DPP-led government, which you are the Leader of the House now. We are talking about the late Issa Njauju (Anti Corruption Bureau official murdered last year) and Robert Chasowa (University of Malawi student murdered by regime agents). That is what we are talking about, current issues.”
MP for Lilongwe Msozi South Vitus Dzoole Mwale also stood on point of order against Chaponda’s remarks, saying they were provocation.
“What is out of order is for the Leader of the House to forget what he said in this House. Can I remind him? Last time when he was in the opposition, he said that when a fish starts rotting, it starts from the head. Can you remember that one? Now if this House degenerates into chaos it is because of you.”
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