In a rare feat of middle-of-the-road speaking, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has commended the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara for a “job well done in maintaining order and applying and interpreting the practices and procedures of this august House with impartiality”.
Speaking in Parliament at the end of the 2020/2021 Budget Meeting on Friday, October 23, 2020, Nankhumwa said Gotani Hara had stepped up to the plate to manage business in this House sometimes under very difficult and hostile circumstances.
“I wish to commend you, Madam Speaker, for such an outstanding performance,” said the Leader of the Opposition.
However, Nankhumwa noted that the Speaker could not have achieved this without the assistance of the Parliament Secretariat.
“I will be failing in my duty as Leader of the Opposition if I do not recognize the outstanding role that the Secretariat plays in providing valuable counsel for the smooth transaction of parliamentary business.
“I wish to commend the Secretariat, through the Clerk of Parliament, for its professionalism and efficiency. I would like to request members to give them a big hand of applause,” he said.
He also said the Leader of Government Business, Richard Chimwendo Banda, also deserved special mention for his outstanding leadership and for ably directing business in the House with above-average diligence and commitment.
“Contrary to many people’s fears that he would pursue partisan interests, the Leader of the House has demonstrated maturity and tolerance in his conduct of parliamentary business.
“Hitherto, the picture that many had of the Honourable Leader of the House was that of a boots-wearing MCP Youth Director who is always confrontational. My Honourable brother has instead clearly risen to the occasion to become one of the best Leaders of the House within a short time.
“I wish to encourage him to stay the course considering that politics has a way of turning otherwise good people into dangerous chameleons,” said the Mulanje central legislator.
He also thanked Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) MPs for electing him Leader of the House a couple of weeks ago.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my fellow DPP members for electing me to serve as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. I thank you for placing your trust and confidence in my ability to lead the opposition. I wish to assure you of my commitment to serve in your best interests and that of Malawians at all times,” said Nankhumwa.
He congratulated MPs for passing the MK2.1 trillion 2020/2021 national budget. He said a national budget is very important for proper education and health services; construction of good roads; provision of affordable fertilizers; uplifting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); and ensuring social and economic growth, among others.
“So, the passing of the National Budget will allow the government to spend on social and economic service delivery. However, the passing of the budget alone is not enough. Malawians are waiting to see proper implementation of the plans contained in this financial blueprint, which would translate into improved livelihoods,” said Nankhumwa.
He observed that stories have been told in the past of how a lot of beautiful documents outlining vision and action-plans gather dust at Capital Hill, owing to the lack of political will to push for their implementation.
Nankhumwa noted that the lack of political will has always been standing in the way of budget implementation in the past.
“I, therefore, wish to urge the Tonse Alliance government to avoid falling into this trap. There must be a robust monitoring mechanism to ensure that the National Budget that we have just passed in this august House is fully and properly implemented,” he said.
The Leader of the Opposition assured the House and Malawians that as opposition, they are fully committed to tracking the budget down to every vote to ensure that it is prudently implemented and that it benefits all Malawians regardless of tribe, religion, colour, creed, or political affiliation.
“We will seriously oppose any attempts to depart from agreed frameworks or any other move to defraud Malawians for the benefit of a few individuals,” he pledged.
Nankhumwa is also Mulanje Central parliamentarian and DPP vice president (South) .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :