Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa has expressed “disappointment” over what he described as “chameleon” conduct by some Members of Parliament (MPs) “who change colours at will”.
“They pass laws in this House only to backtrack later reaching an extent of joining street demonstrations against the same laws they passed just to please some quarters of our society. This bad behaviour must stop”, said Nankhumwa when he presented his ‘discontinuance’ speech on Friday, June 29, 2018, at the end of the 47th Session of Parliament, and 2018/2019 Budget Meeting.
He was making veiled reference to Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, who joined demonstrations staged in April 2018 by some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) against a K4 billion constituency fund, which Parliament (which he is part of) allocated to all constituencies for various development projects.
“Let us learn to be principled and defend our collective resolutions in this house. We represent the people and nobody can take away this responsibility from us overnight,” said the youthful legislator for Mulanje Central constituency and Local Government Minister.
However, the Leader of the House congratulated the MPs for their “unity of purpose”, when they unanimously passed the 2018/2019 national budget.
“Let me congratulate the leadership of all political parties represented in this august House and all members from both sides of this august House, government and opposition, for setting aside their differences and rising above party politics to unanimously pass the 2018/2019 budget. This is the definition of patriotism, which I believe is cardinal in our relentless quest to create opportunities for the people that we serve,” said Nankhumwa.
He also congratulated the Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, “for presenting the 1.4 trillion Kwacha 2018/2019 National Budget, which we have just passed.
“I would particularly like to hail the Finance Minister for setting aside a 2 billion Kwacha Fund to train civil servants to PhD level, which we all know will help professionalize our civil service to make it agile and more responsive to the needs of Malawians.
“This budget has also been outstanding for the K5 billion allocation to employ 10,000 youths through reforestation programmes, which I believe is an excellent initiative designed to keep a majority of our youths away from alcohol and drug abuse, which can ruin their future, and the future of this country,” he said.
He applauded the Minister of Finance for the 4.8 billion Kwacha that has been allocated for government to employ youth aged 18-30 in different government department and ministries based on qualifications, which will go a long way towards reducing youth unemployment in this country.
“Other positive highlights in the 2018/2019 Budget include the 20 billion Kwacha allocation for the purchase of maize; the 41.5 billion Kwacha FISP allocation; the plan to employ 10.500 primary school teachers; 500 secondary school teachers; 1000 medical staff; the 31.5 billion allocated for the national population census and the increase in civil servants’ salaries by 10% for senior civil servants and 20% for junior civil servants,” he said.
He noted that this was the last Budget sitting before Malawians go to the polls on 21st May, 2019.
“As you may have noted, this 2018/209 Budget is essentially an election budget underlined by the allocation of 31.5 billion Kwacha towards the elections. Our passing of the 2018/2019 budget is therefore significant and symbolic in that it contributes to the larger efforts invested by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) towards the holding of free, fair and credible tripartite elections next year,” he said.
Nankhumwa said apart from the budgetary allocations, the parliamentary sitting “was also outstanding” in that so many Bills such as Bill No. 8 of 2018: Control of Goods; and Bill No. 13 of 2017: National Intelligence Service, among others were passed.
He thanked President Peter Mutharika for entrusting him “with the position of Leader of Government Business”.
“It is a huge responsibility, but although we may call it such, it has been made easier and possible for me through the support of you, Mr. Speaker Sir, and all MPs. I pray that the unity displayed in this House so far be extended outside Parliament so that Malawians out there also benefit through the attainment of their common aspirations as we quest for socio-economic emancipation,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :