As parliament will be meeting for the mid-year budget review, some opposition MPs want suspended Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda, from sitting in the front benches in parliament and taking up his formal role as Leader of the House.
Chaponda is suspended by High Court from executing his duties as minister until a Commission of Inquiry into the Zambia maize saga, led by Retired Chief Justice Anastazia Msosa, is expected to present a final report and findings to President Peter Mutharika on February 9 2017.
Parliament starts meeting this Monday for a midyear budget review meeting.
Lazarus Chakwera, who is leader of the opposition in parliament and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, held a parliamentary caucus at the Golden Peacock hotel to strategise on the move.
“Chaponda is suspended as ministers and then he should not be leader of the House. Therefore should not sit on the front benches,” said an opposition lawmaker who attended the caucus.
However, speaking to Nyasa Times, former Speaker of Parliament Sam Mpasu, has said that the court action which suspended the minister cannot affect his position as Leader of the House.
“He is not breaking any law if he remains leader of the house”, said Mpasu last week.
These remarks were also echoed by spokesperson for parliament Leonard Mengezi who said the House will recognise Chaponda as Leader of the House as his position is political and given to a person by the ruling party.
Chaponda has constantly denied any wrongdoing in the maize scandal, saying his involvement in the maize procurement was minimal.