Speaker of Malawi Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda has ruled against the use of gadgets like laptops, smartphones and iPads during the deliberation in the National Assembly.
The Speaker said laptops were turning out to be a “big distraction” during sessions
The ruling on Thursday was in response to the question from Kasungu West parliamentarian Otilia Moyo-Jere who on Wednesday rose up on point of order asking the speaker on whether the use of laptop was allowed in parliament after she spotted Justice Minister Ralph Kasambala ( not an elected MP) using the laptop while the deliberations were under way.
Making the ruling, Chimunthu Banda said the use of hand gadgets distracts parliamentarians from full concentration in the chamber.
The Speaker said although some Africa countries like Rwanda Uganda and Botswana allow the use of iPads like they have now realized that that they have to change their laws after noticing that most of their members were busy using the gadgets during the deliberations.
“In Africa, the use of laptops is prohibited. However, rules of handheld devices such as iPads are relaxed on condition that users do not disturb proceedings of the House.
“Members, the conclusion is that as far as Parliament is concerned, the use of mobile phones and any other handheld device remains disallowed in the chamber,” ruled the Speaker.
However, Chimunthu Banda was quick to say that discussion at this point remains open.