‘Lipenga a comedian’, DPP MP forced to withdraw statement: Malawi Parliament

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker for Nsanje South West, Vera Faramenga Chelewani, was forced to withdraw her “unparliamentarily remarks” after she labeled Finance Minister Ken Lipenga as a “comedian.”

In her contribution to the 2013/14 budget proposal, Chelewani told parliament that she was not impressed with the way Lipenga unveiled the financial plan, saying “the ministerial legacy was not upheld with serious conviction.”

She said the Finance Minister “turned himself into a comedian.”

But her remarks did not please the Leader of the House, Henry Phoya who protested.

Lipenga: Presented the budget
Lipenga: Presented the budget

“As government we take great exception to that particular remark.  We are here to discuss the budget. We are not here to discuss personalities,” said Phoya.

“If people have an issue with the Minister of Finance, let them address that issue elsewhere not in this House.  That is a reflection on both the Minister and this government and we will not take it sitting down,” Phoya added.

Phoya continued: “Members should find other fora for expressing their sense of bitterness. We know people are bitter in this House. For one reason or the other people are bitter in this House and they should express that bitterness elsewhere.”

Second Deputy Speaker Juliana Mphande ordered the DPP legislature to withdraw the remarks.

“Yes, I rule those words a comedian be withdrawn,” said the Second Deputy Speaker.

In the end, Chilewani withdrew his remarks however she pointed out: “I withdraw, maybe I say it was dramatic because the Minister himself yesterday [Thursday]  agreed that he is happy with whatever we call him.  We have to express how we felt.”

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