Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya on Friday told the House that the Speaker’s ruling on a point of order cannot be challenged.
Msowoya made the remarks when the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Lilongwe North East Maxwel Thyolera rose on a point of order to stop Member of Parliament for Mangochi Masongola Rashid Pemba from commenting for the second time on the report by Parliament Committee on Budget following its consideration of the 2014/2015 Budget review presented by the committee Chairperson Rhino Chiphiko.
The Speaker sustained Thyolera’s point of order and ruled that Pemba should not continue commenting on the report in view of the fact that there were many Members who wanted to comment on the report.
Msowoyas’ ruling did not go well with Government Chief Whip Henry Mussa, who is also the Minister of Labour and Manpower Development, who also rose on a point of order seeking more clarification on why the Speaker had made that ruling.
“Point of Order Mr. Speaker Sir, the last time the Member of Parliament for Mangochi Masongola spoke on the mid-year budget review, he was speaking on behalf of the party, are you saying he cannot talk on behalf of his constituency this time around?” queried Mussa.
The Speaker again asked the governments’ chief whip to take his seat which again prompted another Parliamentarian to rise on another point of order.
“Are you challenging the chairpersons’ ruling? Please take your seat. I have already ruled on this and I said in view of the fact that there are so many members who would like to speak, I should therefore give a chance to another member to speak,” said Msowoya.
“Before I adjourn the House for tea break, let me refer the members to Standing Orders 88 which says that the chairpersons’ ruling should be respected,” referred Msowoya.
The report of the budget and finance committee was in response to the midyear budget statement that was presented by the Minister of Finance on 6th February 2015.
Parliament has since adjourned to Monday afternoon.– Reporting by Maston Kaiya and Mirriam Banda, Mana