Outspoken Mzimba West MP Harry Mkandawire systematically hijacked debate on the State of the Nation Address to demand an explanation on reports that the First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka-Chilenje and Second Deputy Speaker Clement Chiwaya allegedly fleeced government huge sums of money in dubious house allowance claims.
The unsuspecting second deputy speaker Chiwaya gave a chance to Mkandawire to contribute to the President Peter Mutharika speech only to be surprised that Mkandawire demanded answers from Chiwaya on the allowances.
Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya on Monday ruled that the legislators could not debate on the allowance issue but parliament has referred it to relevant government departments.
The two deputy speakers Esther Mcheka Chilenje and Chiwaya himself are accused of pocketing up to K500 000 a month in dubious house allowances.
But Mkandawire demanded to know which government departments were handling the matter.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has confirmed that the matter is under investigation.
Edge Kanyongolo, an associate professor of law at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, told a local press that parliament should endeavour to recover what the two deputy speakers “unjustly got from taxpayers”.
Said Kanyongolo: “Anything short of that [recovery] will be setting a bad precedent for future occupants of the offices.”
A letter dated October 9 2015 from acting Clerk of Parliament Reynard Mapemba to the two deputy speakers said the commission had resolved that effective September 2015 they will be paid a monthly housing allowance of K250 000 each.