Chakwera to take questions on SONA next Wednesday

President Lazarus Chakwera will next Wednesday return to the national assembly where he will be expected to respond to questions from legislators on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) he presented on May 12.

Such an appearance before parliament will be President Chakwera’s third time since he assumed office in June last year; and it is an initiative he has been hailed for in as far as mutual engagement between the legislature and the executive for the benefit of Malawians is concerned.

Chakwera impresses at Question Time

Chakwera’s immediate predecessors, Joyce Banda, and his brother Bingu never had such special dialogues with Parliament.

Announcing in the House on Tuesday morning, Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara, said the President will avail himself in the house on May 26 for question taking.

Hara also mentioned that finance minister, Felix Mlusu, will present his 2021-2022 financial budget on May 28, after which the house will split into cluster committees for two weeks.

On the vacancy of position of the opposition’s chief whip in the house, Hara said she had received three names from the former ruling DPP and committed that she would make a determination on the matter soon.

The former chief whip Symon Vuwa Kaunda’s Nkhata Bay Central seat was nullified by the court after Ralph Mhone challenged that Kaunda’s election had not been “free and fair.”

Parliament has, meanwhile, also adopted the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) report which posited the confirmation of Martha Chizuma as Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general.

Last week, the same PAC had rejected Chizuma after she scored 14.9 of the expected 17 mark during an interview for confirmation.

But according to PAC chairperson, Joyce Chitsulo, on Monday—following a motion by Dowa North West parliamentarian—the committee resorted to the voting method.

Of the 18 members of the committee present, 12 voted in favour of Chizuma, 1 abstained and 4 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members walked out.

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