Racist remark causes chaos in Malawi Parliament: DPP backbencher calls Rumphi MP ‘white lady’

A racist remark from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) law maker on Thursdaynearly halted debate as opposition members of parliament demanded the withdrawal and apology.

Jacqueline Kouwenhoven is-Member of Parliament (MP) for Rumphi West.
UDF Patel said racisim is unaccaptable, all MPs are Malawians
MP Navicha: Called Rumphi West MP Kouwenhoven  white lady

This was after Rumphi West MP  Jacqueline Kouwenhoven backed a bill on electoral reforms.

Kouwenhoven said the electoral reforms bill, presented by Lilongwe south MP Peter Dimba was a milestone and would entrench democracy.

She said the bill, if passed into law, would wipe away election riggers and vote thieves.

The bill, among other things, proposes that votes be counted at constituency level and the results be announced right away at the constituency level.

The bill also proposes that the presidential results be announced after 21 days.

However, Thyolo Thava MP   Mary Navicha emotionally said,”is it in order for that white lady to call the Mzimba east MP Khumbo Kachali?”

This was after the Rumphi west MP agreed to the points and suggestions made by the former vice president, Kachali.

This did not go down well with the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP) legislators who condemned the remarks by the Thyolo Thava MP.

They demanded the withdrawal of the statement and an apology to   Kouwenhoven.

Thyolo Thava MP withdrew the statement and apologised for the racist remark.

United Democratic Front (UDF)chief whip Lilian Patel, whose party is in coalition with DPP, said it was bad for Thyolo Thava MP to mention a colour of a member of parliament.

She said all members of parliament were Malawians.

“It is not good, for the future to mention people’s colour please, for God’s sake, no matter how you feel, it is wrong, we are all Malawians, please, that should not be repeated,” she said.

Lilongwe Msozi south  Vitus Dzoole Mwale said the DPP legislators were now in the business of name calling.

He said a DPP legislator on Tuesday called the opposition members of parliament “monkeys”.

Speaker Richard Msowoya asked the members of parliament to take emotions out of the bill.

Speaker Msowoya  said: “ I have said it now and again that you will have different opinions on matters of debate.  But please try to remove your emotions on issues of public importance.

“These matters are not personal.  Amendment of a bill of a Constitution of any law, is not a personal matter. It is something that is provided in our Constitution and any Honourable Member of this House has the right to move an amendment to any law.  Do not be emotional, there is no need for calling names.  These are public matters and not personal matters.

“I really would like to ask you, that there is no need to reduce ourselves or any Member of this House to anywhere below, where they are. “

He said he has heard allegations that he has received money from the DPP and he has sent 11 opposition legislators so that the bill does not pass in parliament.

Msowoya said this was not true.

The Nyasa Times has read the allegations posted in the social media by MCP propagandists. Msowoya is the vice president of the party.

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Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
6 years ago

Jacqueline Kouvenhoven is indeed a Malawian. She followed the foot steps of Jaap Sonke to settle in Malawi. Both have contributed developments in areas they are staying. As for the electoral reforms she has backed with her facts are like shades of fire directed to an area where there is the need ‘to repair’. Soon or later the said electoral reforms will consume all areas where there is resistance. In USA there was a pocket of resistance when the electoral college was brought in as reforms. But at the very end, democracy triumphed. Malawi is on the right path …… Read more »

C Banda
C Banda
6 years ago

“Lilian Patel … said all members of parliament were Malawians.”

Indeed, the “white lady” sacrificed her Dutch citizenship in order to take up that of Malawi so that she could stand as an MP and serve the people of her area in Rumphi. She now has to apply for a visa to visit her family in the country of her birth.

6 years ago

The DPP MPs are not for the national Interests but to rally behind this rooting Government which is rotten from top to bottom. They are not even ashamed of their racial arrogance. These thieves are full of racism, tribalism and all the isms affecting the development and unity of the Country. They don’t take Malawi as one but cherish tribal lines and further the division of the hard earned unity. This MP is typically stupid and its a shame to have such racist in the national chamber.

Chilungamo Chimawawa
Chilungamo Chimawawa
6 years ago

this shows that indeed DPP is a party of thieves. why are they afraid of electrol reforms?????????????

6 years ago

Electoral reform is a must and it will happen. Sorry DPP if you were planning to rig 2018 general elections, this will now be very difficult to do, and add to this, your maizegate man has damaged your party. Imagine if more thieves are going to be flushed out in your party very soon, how will you salvage the situation?

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