Chilapondwa forced to withdraw ‘demeaning’ statement in Malawi Parliament

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Ulemu Chilapondwa was forced to withdraw a statement which was perceived demeaning to an opposition legislator.

In his contribution to the 2013/14 budget proposal Chilapondwa told Ntcheu South MP Damson Chimalira that if he wanted a better understanding of what he explained, he should meet him outside to translate into local dialect Chichewa.

Chilapondwa said in Parliament that Chimaira should meet him “outside so that I translate what I have said in Chichewa for him to understand.”

But his remarks did not please opposition DPP Chitipa North MP Nick Masebo who also accused Second Deputy Speaker Juliana Mphande for taking the matter casually.

Chilapondwa: I will translate in Chichewa
Chilapondwa: I will translate in Chichewa

“We thought as you continue presiding over the proceedings in this House, you pay attention to utterances which would demean the decorum of the House…  I think the Leader of the House, it is your duty to discipline your Deputy Ministers over these matters and I implore that this statement should not form part of the proceedings,” said Masebo.

Mphande then ruled that the point has been sustained, but Masebo could not take it, demanding: “We want it to be withdrawn.”

Chilapondwa said: “What I wanted to say was to translate the technical issues to do with veterinary outside.”

In the end, Chilapondwa withdrew his remarks however he pointed out “for the sake of continuity, I withdraw but I will tell him outside.”

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