Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya on Friday took the government by storm when he said Malawians treat their Presidents and other leaders with too much respect and fear that impedes on transparency and accountability.
Msowoya said this in parliament when he made a ruling on a contentious issue when government chief whip Henry Mussa demanded a withdrawal of a statement from Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera.
Chakwera had said the sacking of George Chaponda as Agriculture minister was too little, too late, asking why it had taken so long to act, saying this reflected badly on the moral standing of President Peter Mutharika.
Chakwera described the delays to fire Chaponda as executive arrogance.
However, did this not go down well with Mussa and other government ministers who argued the standing orders, rules governing the House, do not allow members to reflect on the Head of State.
Msowoya, in his ruling, said it was high time leaders allowed themselves to be scrutinised.
“In this country, leadership—starting from the Presidency, ministers, those of us in this House, councillors, civic and traditional leaders —are treated with far too much respect and are, sometimes, feared such that it becomes a convenient barrier to accountability, ” said Msowoya.
He said 53 years after independence, things should not be allowed to continue like this, holding our Heads of State as semi-gods.
“53 years after independence, and 24 years in the multiparty dispensation, this cannot be allowed to continue and we, in this House, are the people who have to lead in changing that,” Msowoya declared in Parliament.
Msowoya wondered how debate in the House would go without mentioning the President.
He said in other countries in Commonwealth, Heads of State are summoned in their respective parliament’s to answer questions but said this was not the case in Malawi.
Chakwera and the opposition Malawi Congress Party and Peoples Party back benchers welcomed the statement but there was silence from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and their political bed fellows, the United Democratic Front.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :