Forum for National Development (FND) which is reportedly being bankrolled by the State machinery, has asked Speaker of Malawi’s National Assembly Richard Msowoya to resign within seven days, saying he has lost legal authority to apply section 65 (1) of the country’s constitution which prohibits Members of Parliament (MPs) from crossing the floor.
FND National Coordinator Fryson Chozi, Chairperson Bright Kampawundi and a concerned citizen Philip Kamangira told reporters in Lilongwe on Tuesday that theywant Speaker to resign.
Msowoya has joined the United Transformation Movement (UTM), a new political grouping being led by State Vice President Saulos Chilima.
A horde of legislators have followed Msowoya to UTM, making the movement one of the huge forces to reckon with ahead of Malawi’s 2019 tripartite elections.
Section 65 (1) reads, “The Speaker shall declare vacant the seat of any member of thegroupingl Assembly who was, at the time of his or her election, a member of one political party represented in the National Assembly, other than by that member alone but who has voluntarily ceased to be a member of that party or has joined another political party represented in the National Assembly, or has joined any other political party, or association or organization whose objectives or activities are political in nature”.
According to the State sponsored activist, by voluntarily resigning from MCP and joining UTM, Msowoya has crossed the floor which is a violation of section 65 (1).
“The million dollar question is, how would the Speaker judge against himself in a matter he is equally a culprit? He must resign to pave the way for either the First Deputy Speaker or Second Deputy Speaker or any independent person to declare his seat and those of the other MPs vacant for defying the law,” noted Kamangira.
The three said if Msowoya does not resign, they will organize citizens to take action considering that Msowoya’s action has put the office of the Speaker into disrepute.
There has been no immediate comment from Msowoya or his office.