Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has scooped leadership of most of the parliamentary committees during elections held on Friday.
MCP Chief Whip Sam Kawale confirmed that the party’s MPs had been elected chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of various committees, including the crucial Budget and Finance, Public Accounts and Public Appointments and Declaration of Assets.
According to Standing Orders at Parliament, constitutionally established committees such as Legal Affairs, Public Appointments and Declaration of Assets, Public Accounts, Defence and Security and Budget and Finance are supposed to be chaired by opposition MPs for effective checks and balances.
Among the MCP MPs, parliamentarian Collins Kajawa (Lilongwe Mpenu Nkhoma) has been elected to chair the Public Appointments Committee (PAC), Ken Kandodo (Kasungu Central) will be chairperson for Public Accounts Committee while Sosten Gwengwe (Lilongwe Msozi North) will head the Budget and Finance Committee.
Kezzie Msukwa (Chitipa East) has been elected chairperson of Legal Affairs committee while Jephter Mwale (Mchinji Central) has taken the chairmanship of the Government Assurances Committee mandated to keep track of responses to oral questions posed by MPs during question time.
Deus Gumba Banda (Mchinji South West) has been elected chairperson of HIV/AIDS and Nutrition committee.
Other committees which have gone to MCP include Social and Community Affairs, Education, Natural Resources, Education, Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Local Government and Decentralisation.
The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has taken the chairmanship of the Agriculture and Irrigation. It is chaired by Sameer Suleman (Blantyre City South East) And his deputy is MCP’s Ulemu Chilapondwa (Ntchisi South), while McNice Aboo Naliwa (Zomba Nsondole) is chairing mEDIA Committee and Werani Chilenga heads one on Climate Change.
DPP’s Lonnie Chijere Phiri (Zomba Chingale) has been elected chairperson of the Women Caucus in Parliament which comprises all female MPs, including Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers.
Independent legislator Dr Matthews Ngwale (Chiradzulu West) has been elected chairperson of Health committee.