The Mid-Year Budget Review meeting of Parliament came to an end on Friday, February 28 2020, with government strongly condemning Members of Parliament (MPS) for “unprofessional and unethical conduct”.
Leader of the House, Kondwani Nankhumwa. noted in his discontinuance speech that the sitting was characterized by “partisan interests at the expense of the nation, which resulted in the bulldozing of Bills in disregard to rules and regulations guiding transaction of parliamentary business; clear biasness against government side by the speakership; loss of order and decorum; and insults and vulgar language”.
Nankhumwa said the “chaotic situation” resulted in some members being sent out under Standing Order 105 while others are currently facing disciplinary measures through the Parliamentary Service Commission.
“In my opinion, these unfortunate and ugly scenes could have been avoided if we had put national interests above personal and partisan interests,” he said.
The leader of the House continued: “Indeed, we could not have experienced chaos if we had followed, to the letter, standing orders, rules and regulations guiding business in this august House.”
He said as leader of the House “and without taking sides”, he condemned “in the strongest possible terms this unprofessional and unethical conduct”, saying Parliament can do better.
Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, said some MPs were “excited” with the February 3, 2020 constitutional court ruling on the presidential election case, which has led to their “unprofessional and unethical conduct” in the House.
In its ruling, the High Court, sitting as constitutional court, nullified the May 21, 2019 presidential election results, which were in favour of President Peter Mutharika, and ordered fresh elections within 150 days.
The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM had petitioned the courts, arguing the election was marred by massive irregularities.
However, in a reconciliatory tone, the Leader of the House said despite all challenges and issues that he had raised, it was “extremely important that we set aside our differences, forgive each other, and move forward for the benefit of all Malawians”.
“It will be unacceptable, Madam Speaker, to continue nursing grudges against each other just because we disagreed in Parliament. It shall be unacceptable, for us to continue keeping grudges just because we bulldozed business in the House for political reasons.
“Whether or not we had questionable Business Committee meetings just to suit our political desires and tastes, I say that is water under the bridge and let bygones be bygones,” he said.
On the Budget Review Sitting, Nankhumwa thanked MPs for passing the revised MK1.8 trillion National Budget “as ably presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Joseph Mwanamveka”.
“I wish to reiterate that this National Budget bodes well for the DPP’s national social and economic development agenda under the visionary leadership of His Excellency President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika,” he said.
Nankhumwa also thanked the MPs for passing other important Bills, including the Cannabis Regulation Bill, which he said would result in enormous economic gains for the country.
This was one of the most controversial sitting as opposition legislators pushed for changes in the electoral laws, including the requirement that a presidential election winner must amass 50-plus-one percent of the total votes cast as ordered by the Constitution Court.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :