Second deputy Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly Juliana Mphande has had many gaffes in the House but on Tuesday she took her mistakes a step further when she forgot to have a bill which has been concluded to be formally passed.
The procedure is that when a bill passes thought the third reading the Speaker poses the final question which says that “the bill be tabled for a third reading and passed” to which the entire House shouts a vote of ‘eye’ or ‘no’.
However, during the processing of the Export Processing Zone (Amendment) Bill, Mphande had her own way after asking the Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara to state when the Bill will be coming for the third reading, the second Deputy Speaker went straight to introduce new business on the floor.
It had to take deputy Leader of the House, Anita Kalinde to remind Mphande of the procedural error.
“Madam deputy Speaker Madam, I beg to move that we revert to the process and start all over again because you did not conclude with the question that ‘the bill be passed,” she said.
After the correction Mphande went back to the process to correct the gaffe and business in the House continued.
To still show that Mphande has a problem in steering business in the House, during the business several MPs could be seen seating at any place rather than their allocated seats which is also against the House’s standing orders.
The second Deputy Speaker, twice stopped the proceedings to plead with the wayward MPs to go back to their allocated seats.
“I see that the point I raised earlier about how we are seating is not being complied with some of the members still sitting where they are not supposed to seat. I would want to ask them to go back to their seats,” she said in her second plea.