Mzimba West parliamentarian and Mzuzu-based business magnate, Harry Mkandawire, has echoed many other quarters in blatantly accusing the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration of failure to deliver on its promises.
Mkandawire said in parliament while contributing to President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered on Friday last week during the opening of the 3rd meeting in the 47th session of Parliament and 2018/2019 budget meeting.
“They told us they would build Mombera University in Mzimba. Four years down the line, a foundation stone is just lying on the site,” said Mkandawire in his deep Tumbuka accent, sending the House into stitches of laughter.
“Tchaya. Yowoya iwe (Go on. Tell them),” opposition MPs cheered on Mkandawire and clapped for him.
Directly facing and gesturing at the government side, Mkandawire continued, “Where are the 500 houses you promised to build for our policemen and women? It is sad that our esteemed law enforcers continue to live in “buckets”.
The word “buckets” attracted disapproval from First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje and the whole government side.
Home Affairs Minister Cecilia Chazama quickly rose on a point of order.
“Madam First Deputy Speaker, it is unfair for the honourable member to refer to policemen as living in “buckets”. No one can live in a “bucket,” complained Chazama.
However, Mkandawire defended himself.
“Actually, it was a roadblock policeman who told me to report to the house that they continue to live in “buckets”.
More drama ensued when Mkandawire brought to the attention of the house the new Mzuzu Youth Center, another project which has suffered due to the DPP administration’s disease of not fulfilling promises.
The project, despite having financial allocation in previous budgets, is far from taking shape.
“There are two foundation stones on the site of the project laid by two former Ministers of Youth. The two ministers are looking at me as I’m speaking,” said Mkandawire pointing at the government side but referring to no one in particular.
Opposition legislators broke into laughter and cheers while those on the government side fell silent, angered.
Minister of Culture and Civic Education Grace Obama Chiume hurriedly rose on a “suspicious” point of order whose validity even the First Deputy Speaker did not understand.
Earlier in his speech, Mkandawire joined President Peter Mutharika and Vice President Saulos Chilima in condemning the violence perpetrated by marauding DPP cadets during the opening of Parliament.
A Times Group cameraman was beaten up while two DPP Parliamentarians Patricia Kaliati and Noel Masangwi were harassed and denied access to the Parliament building.
He has since asked the office of the Speaker of Parliament and police to investigate the matter and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.