Chief whip for ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Henry Mussa stood on appoint of order in parliament when leader of opposition, Dr Lazarus Chakwera concluded his response to President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s opening address made on Friday, saying the opposition chief’s tone was “full of hate”.
Mussa, who is also Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, said Chakwera, who is also president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), reflected on the Head of State which is in total contravention of the parliamentary standing orders.
He told the Speaker that Chakwera’s address was full of “insults” and slurs, saying his address conyained some “unparliamentary” words.
“And he was using words like ‘the President is incompetent’, ‘the President is irresponsible’, ‘he is a thief’ how can you dare reflect on your head of state like that? What is his problem?,” said Mussa.
Speaker Richard Msowoya has reserved his ruling on the matter indicating that he needs to seek advice from his office on how to proceed on the issue.
Parliamentary Standing Order 98 states that the conduct of the President and the Vice President shall not be called into question in the course of debate other than by way of procedure for impeachment.
But the Speaker is on record saying Parliamentarians are clearly prohibited from debating on any issue which is reflecting on the conduct of the President.
Msowoya however bemoaned the tendency to treat Malawian leaders as untouchables, saying the development is thwarting efforts to hold leaders accountable.
In an interview, Mussa said Chakwera’s speech was “ full of anger, hatred and frustration”.
Mussa said “no one is at liberty to reflect badly on the Head of State.”
The President title4d his address ‘Rising above macroeconomic stability’ and outlined a number of things his administration has achieved since assuming power in 2014 elections.
But Chakwera said Mutharika’s opening address was “mis-titled” and full of broken promises.