Leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa said unlike President Lazarus Chakwera who as opposition leader used the Parliamentary podium to attack the country’s leadership, he vowed that he will not attack personalities because he is not used to that.
Nankhumwa was speaking in Parliament on Monday when he was giving an official response to the President’s State of the nation address (Sona) delivered in the House on Friday.
The opposition leader, who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president for South, cautioned President Chakwera and his government to “tread carefully on wanton firing, redeployment and arrests of innocent and qualified public sector employees for the simple sin that they are sympathetic to the DPP.”
He accused the Chakwera government of sacking a number of Principal secretaries without justification.
“This is uncalled for, retrogressive and anti-development,” he said.
Nankhumwa mentioned a number of PSs that have been redeployed for what he called “no apparent reason except that they are perceived to be DPP sympathizers.”
Among them, he said were; Stuart Ligomeka (from Statutory Corporations to OPC Special Duties), Sungani Mandala (from Accountant General to OPC Special Duties), Ben Botolo (from Foreign Affairs to OPC Special Duties), Hillalio Chimota (from Department of Human Resource to OPC Special Duties), Gertrude Hiwa (from Solicitor General to OPC Special Duties) and Grey Nyandule Phiri (from Agriculture to OPC Special Duties).
Others he said are; Justin Saidi (from Education to OPC Special Duties), Joseph Mwandidya ( removed as PS Lands), Kisswell Dakamau (removed as PS Industry), Macford Somanje (removed as head of National Registration Bureau ), Wilson Moleni , Elvis Thodi (PS Energy ) and Dr Dan Namarika removed as PS for Health.
“It is my sincere hope that the President will soon take heed of a strong legal advice by the Attorney General Dr Chikosa Silungwe that these willy-nilly transfers and dismissals shall soon backfire and cost more poor Malawians as taxpayers,” said Nankhumwa attracting applause for Silungwe from opposition lawmakers.
Nankhumwa also revealed that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje have not yet received letters of appointment from the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) as demanded by public employment conditions, yet their colleagues from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and other parties have received their letters of appointment.
Then Nankhumwa, who likes quoting the Bible, gave a sermon of response to the Sona by warning President Chakwera to stop attacking DPP members.
He reminded Chakwera, an Evangelical and former preacher, the scriptures.
“Saul planned to kill David, but he was the first to die before David; Jezebel planned to kill Elijah, but God took him and Jezebel died and was eaten by dogs; Haman planned to hang Mordecai, but he ended up being hanged himself;
“Governors and Satraps in Babylon plotted that Daniel must be eaten by the lions, but they ended up being eaten themselves; Judas planned to kill Jesus, but Judas was the one who died first before Jesus; and Herod the great planned to kill Jesus but he was the first to die,” said Nankhumwa.
The opposition leader continued: “We shall not fear those who plan against our lives because we are aware that there is God in Heaven who has our days recorded in His book.
“We are aware that the devil shall come like a flood but the Spirit of the Lord shall rise up the banner to stop him. Our enemies shall come from one direction but they shall run away in seven directions. We belong to the Highest God and we do not need to be dismayed or confused.”
Nankhumwa said: “If you attack us, you attack God and therefore you will not prevail against God.
“For my fellow DPP and UDF members, I say please take comfort in the word of God from the Bible, Joshua Chapter 1 verse 9 and I quote: ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’”
Members from the government side reacted angrily to some of the comments by Nankhumwa and they have ganged up in tearing apart the leader of opposition’s response with some bringing in personal attacks, accusing the DPP parliamentary leader of carrying a gun “to terrorise President Chakwera” during the opening of Parliament on Friday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :