A racist remark from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) law maker on Thursdaynearly halted debate as opposition members of parliament demanded the withdrawal and apology.
This was after Rumphi West MP Jacqueline Kouwenhoven backed a bill on electoral reforms.
Kouwenhoven said the electoral reforms bill, presented by Lilongwe south MP Peter Dimba was a milestone and would entrench democracy.
She said the bill, if passed into law, would wipe away election riggers and vote thieves.
The bill, among other things, proposes that votes be counted at constituency level and the results be announced right away at the constituency level.
The bill also proposes that the presidential results be announced after 21 days.
However, Thyolo Thava MP Mary Navicha emotionally said,”is it in order for that white lady to call the Mzimba east MP Khumbo Kachali?”
This was after the Rumphi west MP agreed to the points and suggestions made by the former vice president, Kachali.
This did not go down well with the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP) legislators who condemned the remarks by the Thyolo Thava MP.
They demanded the withdrawal of the statement and an apology to Kouwenhoven.
Thyolo Thava MP withdrew the statement and apologised for the racist remark.
United Democratic Front (UDF)chief whip Lilian Patel, whose party is in coalition with DPP, said it was bad for Thyolo Thava MP to mention a colour of a member of parliament.
She said all members of parliament were Malawians.
“It is not good, for the future to mention people’s colour please, for God’s sake, no matter how you feel, it is wrong, we are all Malawians, please, that should not be repeated,” she said.
Lilongwe Msozi south Vitus Dzoole Mwale said the DPP legislators were now in the business of name calling.
He said a DPP legislator on Tuesday called the opposition members of parliament “monkeys”.
Speaker Richard Msowoya asked the members of parliament to take emotions out of the bill.
Speaker Msowoya said: “ I have said it now and again that you will have different opinions on matters of debate. But please try to remove your emotions on issues of public importance.
“These matters are not personal. Amendment of a bill of a Constitution of any law, is not a personal matter. It is something that is provided in our Constitution and any Honourable Member of this House has the right to move an amendment to any law. Do not be emotional, there is no need for calling names. These are public matters and not personal matters.
“I really would like to ask you, that there is no need to reduce ourselves or any Member of this House to anywhere below, where they are. “
He said he has heard allegations that he has received money from the DPP and he has sent 11 opposition legislators so that the bill does not pass in parliament.
Msowoya said this was not true.
The Nyasa Times has read the allegations posted in the social media by MCP propagandists. Msowoya is the vice president of the party.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :