Defectors inundate Speaker’s Office

Scores of former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) parliamentarians have written Speaker informing him of their intentions to join People’s Party a development confirmed by Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda.

Chimunthu Banda said his office has been practically overwhelmed by requests from DPP parliamentarians wishing to change allegiance and positions in the august House.

“Of course we have received a substantial number of letters from DPP MPs who wish to change their positions in the house,” said the Speaker as quoted in the press.

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“Basically the requests are in three categories with the first informing the Speaker of their resignation from their party to join People’s Party,” The Daily Times quoted the Speaker.

“The second category are those that have resigned and want to be declared independents while the final and larger group want the Speaker to allocate them seats on the government benches,” he explained

However,  Chimunthu said his office would not act on the correspondences before the House convenes but also added that he would only make pronouncements only on those that formally wrote his office and not those who just announced their intentions through the media.

“How we will deal with these issues, I am not able to tell at the moment as my office has to consult the Attorney General as they are legal in nature,” he said.

“ For this reason I cannot make a blanket statement more especially when the cases are different which demands that each category should be dealt with separately. What is more important is that the Speaker can only make these pronouncements when the House is sitting,” added Chimunthu in The Daily Times.

But reacting to the news, DPP secretary general Wakuda Kamanga put on a brave face saying the party would weather the storm and reclaim its former glory.

“Although I have not been copied on these correspondences but our belief is that DPP as a party will continue. A party is a collective organisation which does not depend on an individual as people will always come and go but the party will always be there,” Kamanga said.

He however pleaded with the party MPs to exercise restraint and act reasonably by making a sober assessment of the time the party is currently going through.

“As a party we are sad at their departure. It is only unfortunate that we cannot stop them. It is very important to note that it is possible to support the government without necessarily resigning from your party, “he reasoned.

“After the mourning period we will sit down as party leadership to assess the damage and create a strategy for us to cope up with life without those MP’s who are leaving. But if they decide to come back we will be happy to receive them back in our fold,” he said.

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