First Deputy Speaker of parliament, Esther Mcheka Chilenje on Wednesday had bad blood with opposition members of parliament when she exchanged words with some backbenchers while challenging that she cannot be intimidated.
Chilenje had verbal clashes with Mzimba Hora MP, Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira and Dowa East Parliamentarian Richard Chimwendo Banda.
It all started when Mzomera Ngwira rose on point of order to speak on issues to do with Ministry of Health but he was ruled out of order before he finished his contribution.
The deputy speaker accused Mzomera for dragging the issue of fuel for ambulances, saying the Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume had already addressed.
This didn’t go well with Mzimba Hora MP who rose again to clarify his point but before he finished he was again told to take his seat as he was not given the flow to speak. But Ngwira was defiant and continued to make his point.
Ngwira told the House he would never contribute when deputy speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje was on chair, angered that she was not recognising him to contribute.
“Madam Deputy Speaker madam, this is what always happen to this member when he want to contribute, he is always blocked when you [Mcheka Chilenje] seat on that chair. I wonder why? Now from today onwards you will never see me standing or raising my hand to speak on anything as long as you are the one seating on that chair. I will never speak,” said conspicuously irked Ngwira amid applauses from the opposition benches.
The matter went personal as the two exchanged bitter words and the deputy speaker invited the MP into her office to resolve the matter amicably.
Peoples Party (PP) chief whip in the house, Ralph Jooma also accused Mcheka Chilenje of failing to stamp her authority in controlling unruly conduct of some ministers and deputies who he said had tendencies if just standing and start speaking even before they are recognised and given the floor unlike the opposition benches who are always stopped when such happens.
“We wonder from this side if rules and standing orders are only applied on this side only and not our colleagues on government side,” Jooma said as opposition members were shouting in agreement to what he was saying with others overhead saying “ndi wa DPP uyu not independent [Mcheka Chilenje is affiliated to ruling DPP and not an independent member ].”
Jooma’s remarks came after Mcheka at several times stopped Dedza East parliamentarian Juliana Lunguzi from speaking.
The Deputy speaker was at it again when she lost her cool and exchanged bitter words with Dowa East MP Chimwendo Banda when she refused to recognise him to speak for moving from his place to another seat.
“Honourable member I will not recognise you, that’s not your place and you know what our standing orders says,” she said.
But Banda answered her that his microphone on his seat is not working and that he wrote her a note on that, saying he never got any response from her.
The deputy speaker insisted not to give him a chance to speak and Banda continued to speak on point of order.
“Honourable members let me say this, I’m also a human being and I’m bound to have reactions and emotions as well. Sometimes I hold my emotions and let me tell you members that I can never be intimidated by your actions here,” angrily Mcheka said as government were cheering in support of her.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :