Phoya roasts Bingu’s ghost as Parliament adjourns sine die

Malawi Parliament adjourned sine die on Friday after unanimously approving the K408 billion (about $1.6 billion) 2012/2013 budget with emotional winding speech from Leader of the House, Henry Phoya.

Phoya took time to roast the ghost of late president Bingu wa Mutharika that lawmakers have not been doing praise singing in their contributions as was the status quo during the DPP reign.

Moving his motion to wind up budget sitting, Phoya said “members of the government side were able to critique freely” which he noted was not the case during the late Mutharika regime.

Phoya: No more praise singing

He said the members from the government benches “were also able to go straight to the substance” than what he said was praise singing with overused clichés such as “wise, dynamic and foresighted leadership.”

Phoya said the MPs are not doing any praise singing and bootlicking but contributing with their conscious.

“These developments are clear to emancipate the members of parliament to be able to articulate and champion the needs and aspirations of the people they represent without fear of reprisals of the powers that be,” said Phoya, who is also Minister of Lands.

“The habit of surrendering of our reasoning faculty into the custody of one powerful leader who is supposed to be an expert on every aspect of life [law, journalism, economy and academic freedom], has not helped us as a nation,” noted Phoya.

“I wish to submit that even the poorest man with dustiest feet has something wise and beneficial to say and he or she must be afforded an opportunity to say,” said the Minister.

Phoya told the House that the new Head of State, Mrs Joyce Banda is “a leader and not a ruler.”

He also took an opportunity to thank President Banda for trusting him with the title of  Leader of the House, pledging to “serve with diligence.”

Phoya said the House has considered 17 bills including confirming the appointment of Inspector General of Police Loti Dzonzi, approving the 2012/2013 national budget and ministerial statements.

He also thanked Speaker of Parliament, Henry Chimunthu Banda “for sound leadership and guidance” in the House, saying “Parliament has managed to maintain order and decorum” because of the Speaker’s leadership.

Phoya also thanked MPs for the “dedication and seriousness in the manner they transacted the business.”

He also commended the National Assembly secretariat.

“I now beg to move that the House do adjourn sine die, My Speaker Sir, I beg to move,” Phoya said winding up his motion.

Parliament rose sine die after sitting since May 18, 2012.

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