Malawi Parliament was thrown in stitches on Tuesday when Minister of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development, Henry Mussa took over the responding of questions meant for the embattled Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda .
Chaponda, who is serving a High Court ordered suspension, was not in the House.
The minister who is also Mulanje South West MP (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP) said he had been attending a funeral of a relative on thus he could not make it to Parliament on Tuesday as he was travelling to Lilongwe.
He has however confirmed to meet the MPs on Wednesday in the joint parliamentary inquiry committee on maizegate.
Mussa, who is the government chief whip in the House, managed to respond to the first question through a written response from the ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development but threw out all the supplementary questions, saying they were new questions all together which needed to be filed and put on Order Paper, the daily paper which details business of the day in the 193 strong House.
This did not go down well with some legislators, who described as abnormal the way Mussa was answering questions.
One member of parliament said people in his area, Malingunde in Lilongwe, do not have piped water yet Lilongwe Water Board was able to make a “donation” of K10 million to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
There was no response from the government side.
Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya on Monday recognised Kondwani Nankhumwa as the care taker Leader of the House.
Nankhumwa’s own position of deputy Leader of the House also came under spotlight on Monday when it transpired it does not exist under the Parliamentary Standing Orders along with positions of deputy party whips.
This was after Kasungu West legislator Alex Major (MCP) reminded the Speaker that the Standing Orders do not recognise the existence of the ‘deputy leader of the House’ position.
The Business Committee, the political leadership of the House will decide the fate of the positions on Wednesday.
The House on Tuesday started with question time.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :