Phoya irked with Njobvuyalema’s ‘personal attacks’: Malawi Parliament

Leader of the House in parliament, Henry Phoya expressed displeasure with “personal attacks” leveled at him by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lilongwe Mapuyu South lawmaker Joseph Njobvuyalema in Parliament.

During contributions during the Committee of Supply, Njobvuyalema commenting on suggestion by Phoya to proceed with critique work of budget votes, said as much as they wanted the work to be done, they needed to break.

Njobvuyalema also noted that the MPs from opposition were the one scrutinizing the budget votes while and others were idle.

“But what is important is that of course we have to deal with work here but at the same time the Leader of the House (Phoya) ought to exercise some humanitarian understanding as a human being himself.  I can see that he is not contributing anything, he is only yawning there, sleeping, doing nothing. It is us who are working,” said Njobvuyalema.

Phoya: Dismisses yawning claims
Phoya: Dismisses yawning claims

“So, for him to sit there idle and say let us continue, when he is not doing anything, he is completely out of Order.  We are tired, we are human beings, we can break and may be continue in the evening,” he added.

But Phoya reacted, rebutting claims that he has been yawning.

“I wish to state that I take great exception to the personal attacks that have been leveled against me.  I have not yawned, a single time, since this morning,” he said, adding “And I have not been sleeping here, I am assisting the very Honourable Minister of Finance to conduct his duties.”

He then agreed that the House needed to break but noted “I do not think it required such a personal attack on me.”

Yet Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chitipa North legislature Nick Masebo also took Phoya to task.

“I just want to emphasize that the Leader of the House is not fair with the Minister of Finance.  He has been speaking without a cup of tea, he is only drinking water, until now, and even you Honourable Chair, you have started speaking from morning until now, you are only drinking water.  I think that is not fair. He should really consider that as a serious matter,” he said.

Finance Minister Ken Lipenga later told the House that on Tuesday the following votes passed through the Committee Stage without any amendments:

Vote 097 – Public Service Commission

Vote 099 – Office of the Director of Public Procurement

  • Vote 100 – Ministry of Defence
  • Vote 101 – Malawi Defence Force
  • Vote 110 – Ministry of Economic Planning and Development
  • Vote 111 – National Statistical Office
  • Vote 120 – Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development
  • Vote 121 – National Local Government Finance Committee
  • Vote 130 – Ministry of Lands and Housing
  • Vote 180 – Ministry of Youth and Sports
  • Vote 190 – Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
  • Vote 200 – Ministry of Disability and Elderly Affairs
  • Vote 210 – Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation

Lipenga said Vote 094 – Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS and National Aids Commission: K23, 742, 671, 59 was deferred.

Phoya then commended “hardworking and patriotic spirit” exhibited by MPs on both sides, asking for an adjournment “so as to allow Members to recharge their batteries, as it were.”

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