Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda of the High Court in Blantyre has granted an injunction sought by have First and Second Deputy Speakers of Parliament [Esther Mcheka Chilenge and Clement Chiwaya respectively] through private practice lawyer Frank Mbeta stopping Member of Parliament for Rumphi East, Kamlepo Kalua, moving a motion to have Parliament’s two deputy speaker suspended over their dubious housing allowances saga.
A motion under notice dated March 10 2016, signed by Kalua, says the two have been involved in swindling money at Parliament.
“First Deputy Speaker and Second Deputy Speaker have been involved in swindling our august House of its hard -allocated money through dubious rental claims since their election to the high offices,” reads part of the motion seen by Nyasa Times.
The motion further says the matter has brought the high office of the Speaker into disrepute and it is a regressive step in the fight against corruption in the light of Cashgate corruption scandal bedevilling the nation.
According to Kalua, recognising the importance of the House to lead in the fight against corruption and in the spirit of Section 12(1)subsections A,B,C, and Section 13(o) of the Constitution, it is imperative for the House to suspend the two Deputy Speakers.
But Mcheka Chilenje and Chiwaya pulled a fast one by instructing lawyer Mbeta to seek a court injunction stopping the motion which Justice Kenyata Nyirenda issued pending a judicial review of the matter.
The two deputy speakers were drawing millions of kwacha a year on rental allowances against their entitlements.
According to their Conditions of Service, a Deputy Speaker who resides or is privately accommodate is entitled to K250 000 per month. But if they are residing in a rented house they are entitled to a maximum of K550 000 per month.
However, the two are said to have been staying in personal houses between May and October 2014 while claiming allowances at maximum entitlement of someone staying in a rented house.
The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) later resolved that the two should no longer be paid K550 000 per month, but K250 000 and they have not challenged the decision. Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Bureau is investigating the two Deputy Speakers.