Malawians under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government will be forced to pay tax to their inherited land as government bill proposes that all land owners under customary land will be forced to register before start paying.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi on Wednesday found himself on a collision course with his step mother Patricia Dzimbiri during a parliamentary roll call vote.
Deputy speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje ordered the roll call after the government and opposition legislators could not agree on whether to amend a clause on a Lands bill or not.
The bill wants people to pay a fee for customary land but the opposition vehemently rejected this, saying ordinary poor people could not afford to pay money for their own ancestral land.
During the roll call, Muluzi, who presented the bill in the House, voted that people should pay for the customary land whilst Dzimbiri voted no.
Dzimbiri was married to former head of state Bakili Muluzi, father to Atupele for many years before they divorced some years back.
During the roll call, government chief whip Henry Mussa was accused of intimidating some MPs, including Chitipa Central MP to vote yes.
Leader for the Peoples’ Party (PP) in the house Uladi Mussa wondered why the government Chief whip was doing to the opposition side during the voting time.
Chilenje had to order the Labour minister immediately leave his undesignated place where he went to lobby for a yes vote and get back to his ministerial seat in the House.
The deputy speaker therefore announced the results saying “out of 124 members present, 59 (oppositions) said ‘no’ to the votes while 65 (government) voted yes, therefore tt the end of the parliamentary vote, the government side, who voted yes, won the roll call.
The bill will reduce the power of traditional leaders according to some Malawians.
However, the bill could not be passed because after it was after five in the afternoon so when government deputy chief whip Grace Chiumia asked for extension of time in order to pass the bill, Speaker put the question on the floor as is tradition on whether to extend the time or not and in a move of tit for tat, the opposition ganged up and defeated the motion, meaning the House was to adjourn immediately, to which it did.
The House meets Thursday to continue with government business.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :