Phoya hails ‘brave’ Malawi opposition as Parliament adjourns sine die

Leader of the House in Parliament Henry Phoya on Friday hailed some opposition party leaders and their members for supporting Government business during the just ended Mid-Year Budget Review meeting.

Phoya said he was particularly moved by the support and patriotism displayed by the Leader of Opposition in parliament, John Tembo, and the United Democratic Front (UDF) President, Atupele Muluzi, and some of the opposition party members.

Said Phoya: “I am  very grateful to Leader of Opposition in the House, Hon. John Tembo, and Hon. Atupele Muluzi, president for UDF party for their invaluable support towards government business.

“I would also like to applaud some brave Members of Parliament sitting elsewhere in this august House for publicly standing in support of the supplementary budget which has just been passed.”

Phoya: Hails opposition members
Phoya: Hails opposition members

The Leader of the House said it was very gratifying to note that there were still people in the opposition who were patriotic and who put issues of national interest first rather than their own interests.

Phoya’s sentiments followed an incident in the House earlier in the day where the opposition defeated the vote for State House Residences by voice vote during the Committee of Supply leading to vote-by-division situation.

However, during roll call vote the “yes” side polled 84, the “no” side 52 while nine members abstained and 47 members were absent.

Among those from opposition who voted in favour of the vote were Leader of Opposition, John Tembo, UDF President, Atupele Muluzi, and some members from the opposition.

However, Phoya bemoaned the opposition side’s lack of seriousness during the first weeks of the Mid-Year Budget Review deliberations saying a lot of time had been wasted so much that only three bills out of seventeen had been passed.

“I would like to appeal to Members of Parliament that next time we meet they should show seriousness right from the beginning because we come here to represent the nation and it is my hope that this will never be repeated,” Phoya told journalists after the adjournment.

The Leader of the House further described the present Parliament as robust where members were free to voice out their views saying that it was an indication that democracy was taking root in the country.

A total of 35 votes were passed on Friday and the MK475,772,494,506 revised budget for the 2012/2013 Financial Year was finally passed.

The initial 2012/2013 budget approved by Parliament in 2012 was over MK408bn.

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