A comprehensive parliamentary Privileges Committee report has hit at three ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators of breaking into an influential opposition legislator drawers in parliament to steal two newspapers which he wanted use as reference material on corruption debate in the National Assembly.
The committee accused Blantyre north MP Francis Phisso, Nkhotakota north east MP Martha Lunji and Mzimba Hora MP Christopher Mzomera Ngwira of colluding to steal the two newspapers on November 30, 2017 from the drawers of Lilongwe Msozi south MP Vitus Dzoole Mwale.
The report says that the front pages of the daily newspapers contained powerful articles of parliamentary high level corruption in the Peter Mutharika administration which Dzoole Mwale of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) wanted to use as reference material to nail home the extent of corruption in the country during debate.
The report says that Phisso told the committee that the issue was blown out of proportion, saying he took the newspapers because he just wanted to read them.
Lunji told the committee that she was not involved while Ngwira told the committee that he had borrowed it but forgot to return it afterwards.
The committee found all the legislators guilty of invading the privacy of Dzoole Mwale.
The report says that the invasion of the privacy of Dzoole Mwale was a gross violation of human rights.
The committee therefore suggested that Lunji be deducted a day’s sitting and subsistence allowance, Phisso be deducted two days allowances while Ngwira be deducted three days allowances as punishment.
The report generated a lot of debate in the House as Lilongwe south MP Peter Dimba described the action by the three members of parliament as dishonourable and criminal.
Describing the three as thieves, Dimba said his colleagues deserved a custodial sentence.
Nkhata Bay central MP Ralph Mhone said there was need to have a new set of rules to deal with such issues, saying the House should not condone such a behaviour.
Mhone, a lawyer, said there should be stiffer punishment for those who engage in similar matters in future.
After Speaker of parliament suspended debate, Dzoole Mwale told the House that the matter should be discontinued because he had forgiven the three but Phisso and Lunji who were in the House rejected the forgiveness offer saying it was too little, too late.
Phisso said the three members of parliament names had already been damaged.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :