Former Speaker of Parliament has warned embattled Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda of a contempt of parliament for his failure to appear before the parliamentary inquiry on maizegate.
Chaponda was scheduled to appear before the before the Parliamentary inquiries alongside Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe on Friday but did not show up.
The former speaker Sam Mpasu said Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya can expel him from parliament for disobeying a parliamentary summon.
“He is playing a dangerous game. He is shooting himself in the feet,” said Mpasu.
Mpasu said he will need the same courts he is snubbing to help him when parliament expels him.
The parliamentary inquiry summoned Chaponda to hear his side of the story on reports that he was involved in suspicious dealings, along with Admarc CEO, Foster Mulumbe, in the procurement of maize from Zambia.
Chaponda said he received the invitation to attend the inquiry proceedings late as he was in Blantyre.
But Mpasu, who is the president of New Labour Party, said for a learned lawyer to defy a High Court order and now snub parliament is self destruction of his career as President Peter Mutharika will always not be there to protect him.
“In other countries, the Speaker would have ordered for his arrest,” said Mpasu.
The parliamentary committee, under Section 60 of the Constitution, has powers to summon anyone, including Cabinet ministers.
Meanwhile, the High Court in Mzuzu will on Tuesday make its ruling on whether Chaponda should be suspended or not following an application by the attorney general.
The Attorney General went to the court some weeks ago to cancel an injunction obtained by civil society groups to restrain Chaponda from working.
The civil society leaders also say they are going to the same court on Tuesday to file for contempt of court after Chaponda went to Germany on official duties after the court ordered him to be on suspension.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :