Drama as UDF asks Malawi Speaker to return to govt benches: Matola won’t resign

Drama continues in Malawi parliament as former ruling UDF has asked Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda that they want to relocate to government side a day after they moved to opposition side.

It all started soon before tea break when Member of Parliament for Rumphi North Cosby Msiska rose on a point of order and notified the house that all UDF members were subsequently absent in the house.

“It is a worrisome development to note that all UDF MP’s are absent in the house. It is important that all of us should be in the house and contribute to the national development. We need to know why UDF MP’s are absent. This is a serious matter,” Msiska said.

Soon after tea break Speaker Chimunthu Banda told the house that he received a letter from the new UDF Secretary General Kandi Padambo who reversed an earlier decision how the UDF was to relocate in parliament.

Matola: Now in orange from yellow

“I received a letter dated 2nd November, 2012 that UDF MP’s were being asked to be seated on government side. The letter was signed by Kandi Padambo rescinding an earlier decision by the party’s former secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala that UDF MP’s will relocate to opposition side,” said Chimunthu Banda.

He further said during the business meeting UDF chief whip Clement Chiwaya agreed with Padambo’s letter that UDF was to seat on government side. He however said that UDF reversed its decision at the eleventh hour when Chiwaya called the speaker on Monday, the day parliament reconvened that UDF wanted to relocate to opposition side.

“I told Dr Chiwaya that my office cannot act on a verbal request so I advised him to put it in writing and around 11 am he was in my office and gave me a letter which requested my office to have UDF MP’s seat on opposition side.” Chimunthu said.

The Speaker then informed parliament that on Tuesday 13th November, he received another letter from Chiwaya that UDF wants to relocate to government side to which the Speaker told the house that “the seating of UDF [on government side] will be made”

On Monday, UDF member told local media that the relocation of UDF to opposition side was not in connection with its party’s national chairman Atupele Muluzi resignation as Minister of Economic, Planning and Development. He said his party will communicate the reasons after a party caucus.

Matola stay-put

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Environment and ClimateChange Management Ibrahim Matola who joined cabinet as UDF lawmaker before he switched he allegiance to PP said he will not dump cabinet.

“I am not going to resign,” said Matola.

And Mangochi South East’s MP Alfred Mwechumu and Mangochi South West’s Shamir Asibu are sidding with PP.


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