Malawi govt petitions Speaker: Nankhumwa says ‘adopt inclusive leadership approach in Parliament’

The Office of Speaker of Parliament demands that the one occupying it must lose their ‘partisan robes’ and discharge their duties based on competence and above-board integrity, Leader of Government Business in Malawi Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa has told Speaker of Parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara.

Leader of the House Nankhumwa  (L) accuses the Speaker Gotani Hara of “showing glaring bias against the government side” in a letter which has also been copied to  Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba (r)

Nankhumwa says in a letter to the Speaker that he is “afraid to conclude that this has not been the case with the Speaker as she has demonstrated that she panders to narrow political interests and sometimes even plain disregard of parliamentary ground rules”.

In a letter dated, 7th October, 2019, addressed to Gotani Hara and copied to the Clerk of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition, Government Chief Whip and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, whose copy Nyasa Times has seen, Nankhumwa accuses the Speaker of “showing glaring bias against the government side during debates and other related matters”.

“Your decisions and calls over so many matters in the House recently have left a lot to be desired, and oftentimes, I have been left wondering whether this is the new way of doing things.

“A very good example is the way you handled the issue of Blantyre City South East Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Member of Parliament (MP) Honourable Sameer Suleman and Dowa East, MCP MP, Honourable Richard Chimwendo Banda.  Despite the fact that the two MPs committed similar offences under parliamentary standing orders, it was clear you were only interested in disciplining Honourable Suleman against considered advice from me and a majority of members of the Business Committee of Parliament.

“Were it not for the unanimous protests and calls for equal treatment from government members in the House, Honourable Chimwendo Banda would have gone scot free without being punished,” reads the letter.

He says the Speaker’s decision “on Friday, 4th October, 2019, to disallow my motion for extension of time to allow members debate the issue of confirmation of Mr. Duncan Mwapasa as Inspector General of Police was also wrongly conceived”.

“Even after more members, notably on the government side, voted in favour of the extension of time than those that were against it, you went ahead to overrule the majority decision,” Nankhumwa’s letter reads.

Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and Mulanje Central MP, reminds the Speaker that she has served as an MP for many years and that therefore she is well aware that “Speaker of Parliament has no mandate to overrule a decision of the House”, but accepts and implements decisions of the members, especially when such decisions are arrived at through a voting process in the House.

“Your decision to curtail debate on confirmation of Mr. Duncan Mwapasa was politically motivated and dictatorial, especially considering that there are precedents where time has been extended to allow members to discuss and conclude important business in the House.

“It is also on record that Parliament has even convened on a weekend, before, to transact urgent national business. A case in point is when Parliament convened on Saturday, 29th May, 2010 to host the visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon,” the letter says.

Nankhumwa says he is “well aware that Gotani Hara was elected to Parliament under the auspices of MCP”, and that her immediate instincts would naturally drift towards her political party. However, Nankhumwa advises the Speaker to adopt a more inclusive approach that takes views and input from both sides of the isle in the House to ensure that the Legislature represents the true aspirations of all Malawians regardless of political affiliations.

He says what is particularly worrying to him is that the Speaker has been in office for a few months, “and with your kind of biased leadership, I fear for the future of this Parliament, especially regarding its role in providing checks and balances in a democracy”.

Nankhumwa confirmed to have written the Speaker “for posterity’s sake”. Speaker Gotani Hara’s phone went unanswered after several attempts were made to seek her comment.

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cipiliro
Guest
cipiliro

DPP GVT IS THE MOST IDIOTIC REGIME MALAWI HAS EVER HAD SINCE INDEPENDENCE. THE BIASEDNESS NANKHUMWA IS SAYING IS THE SAME PRACTICED BY HIS MASTER AND OWN PARTY TOWARDS OTHER REGIONS AND TRIBES IN MALAWI. ULENJE UMASIMBA WAKO, ZISAMAKOMERE MBUZI KUGUNDA GALU, GALU AKATI ABWEZERE MUKUTI IPHANI NDI CHIWEWE CHIMENECHI. IWE SEODI WHITE NTCHITO NDI IMENEYI VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

Political Analyst
Guest
Political Analyst

NANKHUMWA IS A TYPICAL LOMWE, TOO SELFISH TO THE BONE, WANTING EVERYTHING TO GO TO HIS WAY!!!!!!

Kanyimbi
Guest
Kanyimbi

True reflection of aspiration of Malawians zoona mukulankhula mau amenewa lero a Nankhumu pomwe munakana 50+1 voting system yomwe a Malawi ambiri amafuna. Mwaona kupweteka kwake zimakhalira mukamakondera DPP pandale, chitukuko, kulembana ntchito a Meto okha okha ndi kupereka zakudya kwa a njala kwa Alomwe basi.

Mwaulambia
Guest
Mwaulambia

Catherine Gotani is a traitor. She is villain. Do you remember what she did when President Bingu died? She went so low by disclosing the proceedings of the cabinet; betraying her own people in the name of Goodall Gondwe and Vuwa Kaunda. This lady did so in hwe quest kuzigulira malo kwa mayi Joyce Banda. And indeed she was given a ministerial post of Health Minister. Mwanayu ndi njoka ndikumudZiwa bwino ine

Wawa
Guest
Wawa

Gotani is one of the worst Speakers and time will tell if people do not understand this.

vavlov
Guest
vavlov

It is amazing how DDP cadets fail to reason. DPP is crying foul, leave the speaker alone. DPP shouldn’t appoint criminals and believe parliament should endorse them, nada.

Wilson Nkwanda
Guest
Wilson Nkwanda

50+1 was the way to go for our democracy to sustain otherwise this past post voting system will not take us anywhere. Munthu wanena yekha si m’Malawi ndiye angamve madando aMalawi, How?

Hara boy!!! Own chilumba citizen!!! Karonga!!!
Guest
Hara boy!!! Own chilumba citizen!!! Karonga!!!

Where is seodi White with Forum for Concerned Women in Malawi ?? Paja amalira with this kind of nkhaza kwa azimayi!!!! I expect DPP in conjunction with the group (Forum for Concerned Women in Malawi) mix kukatenga azimayi ku Thyolo to arrange a demonstration since this is gender-based violence against.

Lego
Guest

kkkkkkkkkkk

FRED LOCKS
Guest

TISAMVE KUTI MZIMAYI AMENEYU MZIMAYI AMENEYU AKULANDIRA MA THREATS PAJA DPP GIVE THREATS KU AMENE AKU ASOWESA MTENDERE

Moya
Guest
Moya

The effects of rigged elections being experienced now. This is just the beginning Mr temporary minister, u can rig the presidency but in parliament your shall face the reality, the reality is you have no majority and ur idea not popular, like Mwapasa idea only the cadets wants him to have cover when they are looting the government purse.

Mtete
Guest

ANGONENA ZA ANZAO CHEMWALI ZAO APANILA, so goes the song. Zokomela mbuzi ugunda galu. Njomba zonse mumadyetsa anzanu mwaziiwala?

jason
Guest
jason

WHEN IT IS THE SPEAKER, HE/SHE SHOULD NOT BE PARTISAN. BUT WHEN IT IS THE PRESIDENT, HE/SHE CAN BE PARTISAN. FOOLISH!

TELL YOUR PRESIDENT TO BE INCLUSIVE FIRST!

IDIOT

SAM Milanzi
Guest
SAM Milanzi

Understanding the issue and knowing how speaker must discharge his or her duties. Then analyse how Mrs hara is performing currently might help someone to make informed comment otherwise anthu ena mumanvetsa chisoni poonetsa umbuli wanu popanga comment using political interest.don’t make decisions based on who is on de wrong side rather Base ur argument on dos and donts

Lego
Guest

So where is your argument now?