Parliament meets for 20 mins, Chihana sworn-in

Malawi Parliament convened on Monday but could only meet for less than 20 minutes .

One of the activities in the House was the swearing in of legislator Enock Chihana of Alliance for Democracy (Aford) who emerged victor during September 7  by-elections in Rumphi Central constituency 19 polls.

Chihana, son of late pro-democracy champion Chafukwa Chihana (former state second vice president) took  oaths of office and allegiance before Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo.

According to Clerk of Parliament Matilda Katopola , any Member of Parliament  is by  law required to take both oaths before they start their work  “in accordance with Section 52 of the Malawi Constitution.”

Enock Chihana: Sworn-in as MP

Leader of the House George Chaponda asked the Speaker to adjourn the sitting to Tuesday.

Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda, before adjourning, made announcements on changes of the government leadership in the House. He informed that Finance Minister Ken Lipenga is now deputy chief whip while health minister Jean Kalirani is deputy leader.

The former ministers Ken Kandodo, Anna Katchiko were seen sitting in their unfamiliar backbenches after their sack from cabinet.

Leader of Opposition John Tembo and UDF leader Ibrahim Matola said they will pin government to explain how it’s going to solve the current economic problems, including fuel shortage.

“There is a problem of shortage of fuel in the country. There is shortage of drugs in government hospitals and shortage of forex. Government should tell the nation how it’s going to solve the current economic problems,” Tembo said on private owned Zodiak radio.

The opposition legislators also said they will need answers from government  on the death of Robert Chasowa, a fourth year Polytechnic student murdered on September 24, days after his group disagreed with top police officers over a deal to foil August 17 demonstrations.

Police said Chasowa committed suicide, claims which were contradicted by a pathologist’s report which indicated that Chasowa was assaulted with a blunt instrument.

The matter was also raised in the UK House of Commons  where member demanded that Malawi protects human rights defenders, investigates crimes and holds those responsible accountable for their actions.

The opposition will also press government to explain on the controversial decision by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) decision to buy a phone spy machine.

Leader of the House Dr George Chaponda said government will give ministerial statements  on the issues.

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