Opposition members of parliament on Monday ganged up against Speaker Richard Msowoya on his decision to allow Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water development George Chaponda resume his position as Leader of the House, grinding all business to a halt.
This followed President Peter Mutharika’s decision to reinstate the embattled Agriculture minister to the position after he temporary set aside following a High Court ordered suspension.
Members of parliament from main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP) virtually and stubbornly blocked all business, calling for Chaponda’s head, saying they could not have a leader with corruption case hanging over his head.
Each of the legislators who stood up, said corruption was a serious case in the country, therefore there was need for Chaponda to step down.
“What are we telling Malawians on the leadership of this House?” queried leader of the opposition Lazarus Chakwera.
Dedza North West MP Alekeni Menyani said the House “should not have such a person as our leader.”
Kasungu North East MP, Elias Wakuda Kamnaga suggested that Kondwani Nankhumwa should continue working as interim leader of the House.
Mutharika had earlier written the speaker reinstating Chaponda as Leader of the House, forcing the House to hurriedly rework the order paper, changing the seating plan with the new one indicating Chaponda occupying his parliamentary seat as Leader of the House.
This was after an all morning cabinet meeting at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe to which Mutharika conceded delayed him to visit flood victims in Salima.
Most of the members of parliament, including Dowa east Chimwendo Banda, Lilongwe south Peter Dimba and Mangochi Monkey Bay strongly opposed Chaponda taking over the position until he was cleared by courts of corruption charges.
Chairman of Women Caucus in parliament Jessie Kabwila refused to present a parliamentary report in the 193 strong House, saying her party, the MCP had agreed to disallow Chaponda come back as Leader of the House following the recommendations by the presidential commission of inquiry that his dealings with Transglobe was most inappropriate, suspicious and raising issues of corrupt practices which needed to be further investigated by the graft busting body, the Anti Corruption Bureau.
As we posted this story, the political leadership of the House, the Business Committee was meeting in a bid to resolve the crisis which has put the whole parliament off balance.
Chaponda quietly sat on his chair, patiently listening to the arguments and counter arguments on the matter. He did not speak.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :