Member of Parliament for Rumphi East (People’s Party), Kamlepo Kalua, on Monday queried the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on its purported plot to impeach Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya.
There have been insinuations that DPP were plotting to impeach the Speaker.
Kalua, who has been very active in the House during the budget session playing an oversight role, questioned why there is such a plot.
According to him, the Speaker “being one of the custodians of our laws” has not contravened any law to warrant his impeachment.
“We have information that the Attorney General is drafting a bill [motion] to impeach the Speaker. We lost a Speaker from the North because of such behaviour now you want to put pressure on this Speaker. We don’t want to [lose] another Speaker like that,” Kalua said in an apparent reference to former speaker the late Rodwell Mnyenyembe who collapsed in the House at the height of the budget versus Section 65 debate in 2005.
But Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu denied any knowledge of an impeachment plot facilitated by his office citing Section 53 of the Constitution which states that such a motion can only originate from the House.
“I am not aware of this bill. When it comes to impeachment, it comes from this House, according to Section 53 of the Constitution. I want to distance my ministry and Attorney General from this type of allegation.”
Deputy government chief whip, Grace Chiumia denied that DPP has hatched a plot to impeach the Speaker.
She however claimed that some Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmakers were not happy with the Speaker, who is a member of the party.
If anything, Chiumia, who is also Minister of Youth Development and Sports, pointed out that MCP would be gunning for the Speaker’s ouster, claiming that she had names of opposition MPs who were agitating for the Speaker’s removal for interfering with the MCP leadership.
“There are members from that same side of the House that are talking about impeachment,” Chiumia said.
And standing on a point of order, Salima North West MP Jessie Kabwila (MCP) said: “We cannot be talking about graders when there is an issue here that wants to divide us in the MCP. We want those names and we want them now. We will not continue this meeting until we get answers.”
There has been fevered speculation that government benches want to oust Msowoya as head of the legislative arm of government on the premise that he is biased – in actual fact he is resolute to follow the law and refused to be a control freak of the Executive.
Msowoya is said to playing tough on implementation of anti-defection law Section 65 as he want to act on UDF MPs who relocated to the government side.
Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale advised him not to apply the section as the UDF MPs had not joined DPP.
In the House, Msowoya who was elected into office in June 2014 by 101 MPs against DPP’s Francis Kasaila who received 89 votes said the matter would not be debated as it emanated from allegations and rumours.
According to the procedures in the Standing Orders, the mover of an impeachment motion must ascertain that about one third of all 193 members should endorse, or sign, that petition which will be given to the concerned Speaker.
In addition, the concerned Speaker shall be entitled to be heard in his defence, within 14 days when the House is sitting either by himself or through a legal representative.
The petition must also state in clear terms the specific charges which the Speaker is allegedly to have violated and, according to the Standing Orders, the motion must be adopted within 14 days after the notice.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :