Speaker rules Chakwera ‘out of order’ for calling President Mutharika ‘a Prince of Thieves’

Speaker of Parlaiemnt Richard Msowoya has ruled ‘out of order’ Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera—who is also leader of opposition in Parliament— speech in the House in which he branded President Peter Mutharika  as “a Prince of Thieves” presiding over the most corrupt administration, saying words that reflected on the Head of State be struck off the Hansard – a book of record for the House.

Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera: Said Mutharika “has failed to demonstrate that he is not a Prince of Thieves presiding over a kleptocrcay’ and remarks have been edited from Hansard

The government chief whip Henry Mussa protested that Chakwera’s speech was  “full of hate” and containing insults and slurs demeaning the Head of State.

Msowoya, who promised the House to widely consult and listen to the speech again before making his determination, on Friday morning urged members of the House to observe their own rules (standing orders) and avoid reflecting on the Head of State.

Msowoya said “Honorable members it is also a considered view that, remarks become disrespectful if it contains words that reflect on him personally or impute an improper motive on a part of a president.”

The Speaker said the statement that Chakwera  made to brand Mutharika  “incompetent and insensitive” comes close to disrespectful and reflects on the President.

He said any insinuation that the President is a thief imputes an improper motive on a President and therefore it is a breach of standing order 97.

“Therefore, I hereby rule that those words should be struck off the record of that day,” said Msowoya.

Msowoya also appealed to legislators to be exemplary and desist from un-parliamentary utterances that would cheapen the quality of parliamentary debates.

The Chief Whip Mussa applauded Msowoya for what he described  a convincing ruling that is above petty party politics.

“This is a historic ruling, since 1964 no leader of opposition has been ruled out of order and have his remarks removed from Hansards, I agree with the Speaker that let’s be civility enough and avoid insulting our leaders in this case State President,” said Mussa.

He told Nyasa Times in an interview that robust and frank parliamentary debate can never thrive in a climate of insults and defamatory remarks.

The rules of Parliament are thus in place to ensure that multiparty discourse is conducted within the limits of freedom of speech, with respect and dignity.

There was no comment from Chakwera who was absent in the House when the Speaker was making his ruling.

MPs enjoy the highest level of free speech and are protected by parliamentary privilege, which means they cannot be sued or prosecuted for anything they say during the proceedings of the House.

However, as Westminister parliamentary experts Robert Rogers and Rhodri Walters write in How Parliament Works: “The protection of privilege is balanced by a need for it to be used responsibly.”

Even in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, freedom of speech has several limitations.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Omex70
Guest
I laugh when I read comments that foolishly insinuate that politics is for crooks not for the men of God. It simply shows that those who make those comments are blind in their mind and do not know God and Scriptures. Righteousness exalts the nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverb 14:34. So righteousness is always pursued by those who know and fear God. If we leave the nation in the hands of crooks how can they lead the nation to righteousness? So those of you who think Chakwera erred by joining politics simply show that you… Read more »
Jame Ngongonda
Guest

KOMABE INE NDIDAGWIRIZANA NAZO KUKTI HE IS PRICE OF THIEVES PERIOD

Hawkins
Guest
No! Chakwela didn’t go wrong people of Malawi, this president is so passive such that he watches things go by. A leader has to be responsible over his own people. Look, we Malawians are perishing because of his poor governance, he cares less of the less privileged. Let him push more on Chaponda’s case because this is a serious issue of national concern. Evidence is enough beyond reasonable doubt that this Chaponda is a thief and money launderer, how else would one want the evidence to be like? This country surely is being led by non visionary leaders who do… Read more »
Khamaliscious
Guest
If my memory is right,This is how Chakwera said it: “The fact is that our development and service programs continue to be dependent on foreign aid, grants, and loans, both on and off budget, not because they must, but because the President has failed to demonstrate that he is not a Prince of Thieves presiding over a kleptocracy” I really don’t see anything that is not true in here. We truly have government looters and most of them were in Parliament during this speech. And they continue to loot without control. Chaponda is still loose and very well with APM.… Read more »
Ntumbuka Weniweni
Guest

Hon. Henry Mussa, this means former Reverend Lazaro Chakwera, a fallen clergy who chose to follow worldly pleasures such as MP trappings goes down as the most foul-mouthed (wovunda nkamwa) leader of opposition in the history of our banana republic.

Jamax
Guest

When I personally accused Abusa Chakwera of his ruled speech some thought I was just jealous look now what has happenned – when you try to make yourself more than God this is what usually happens. God brings you done & he clothes yor face with SHAME. I even told his most popular follower on this page by the name of Kaitano to say Chikwera must learn to humble himself otherwise oneday something bad will happen to him oneday. look now what do you make of this SHAME?

Kaitano
Guest
Sorry Mr Jamax, i was not around and read this story of Malawians not just Malawians but ordinary Malawians, who are representing us in this august house. Mr Jamax, this is not bad thing following Chakwera NO! I think you need to know that we have a leader of Opposition who is stronger than the other leaders of opposition we had, the person who doesn’t fear anything when it comes to speak the truth, who will always speak for Malawians. If what you are trying to say is that he is not fit to be the leader of which i… Read more »
Misozi Chanthunya
Guest

Who said Chakwera is holier than others? Have people forgotten the way he abused funds to build his mansion? Why is he against intra-party opposition and only cling to one Milk Mkaka? Do you think we members of Assemblies of God we have forgotten how greedy this guy was, only to leave because one son of late Sheafer refused to be dancing to his tunes?

kaitano
Guest

Are you still the member of the Church or?

Vice President Alipo???
Guest
Vice President Alipo???

Chakwera is the first to have his words stripped off and he is going to be the first opposition leader to win general elections. Mumumva kuwawa.

Malawi Has Spoken phiri
Guest
Malawi Has Spoken phiri

I think the speaker has been bought as his ruling depicts disrespect to rev Chakwera his boss

JOSEPH CHAGOMELANA
Guest

IFE TIKAMANENA KUTI LAZALOYU ZANDALE SAZIDZIWA CHONDE MUZINDIMVETSA, AKULUWA ADATHAWA UTUMIKI NGATI YONA ZOTSATILA ZAKE AKULEPHELA KAUDINDO KOCHEPAKA NDIYE ANGATHE BWANJI KUTSOGOLELA DZIKO ,MWACHIDULE PEMPHO LANGA NDILAKUTI; LAZALO KALAPE,BWELELA MKACHISI POTI KUNDALE KULIBE CHAKO, CHONDE ABUSA IWALANI ZODZALAMULILA MALAWI,AZIMAYI NDI AZIBAMBO CHAKWELA SADZALAMULILA DZIKO LA MALAWI,MUSAPUSITSIKE.

More From Nyasatimes