State House is urging women lobby groups to rise up and protest against four legislators who are blocking the swearing in of Fiona Kalemba as Clerk of Parliament, saying this male chauvinism must by condemned.
However, one of the members who sought a court injunction to block the swearing in of Kalemba, Kamlepo Kalua said this issue is about human rights, wondering why President Peter Mutharika picked a third candidate in the interviews conducted by the Parliamentary Service Commission.
“This is a human rights issue. We will report the government to the UN, African Union, Comesa, European Union and other human rights bodies if government does not rescind its decision,” he said.
Kalua said it was surprising that the president left out Charles Mkandawire who came first during the interviews, worse left out Grace Malera who came out second in the interviews.
However, presidential advisor on civil society groups and NGOs, Mabvuto Bamusi insisted the president looked at professional merit and experience.
More so, he said, the President wants to promote women into decision making positions of the society.
“Women groups, where are you, Gender Coordinating Network, condemn the action by the four MPs, protest. These four MPs don’t want women to rise up the ladders,” said Bamusi.
President Mutharika appointed Kalemba as clerk of parliament, saying she is professional and has vast experience in bill drafting, one of the prerequisite qualifications.
However in parliament, People’s Party leader Uladi Mussa alleged the president made the appointment out of nepotism and tribalism, an allegation trashed by Mutharika who said he does not even know where Kalemba comes from.
Other MPs who took the injunction are Enoch Chihana, Harry Mkandawire and Peter Chakwantha.
Chihana said the legislators are not against Kalemba as an individual but the system and wants justice on the matter.
The Republican Constitution provides that the Parliamentary Service Commission, headed by Speaker of the National Assembly, should provide three names of possible candidates to the head of state upon which the president shall appoint one person.
Chancellor College Political scientist Blessings Chinsinga has since asked for a Constitutional change, saying it is bizarre for the head of the executive arm of government to appoint a chief executive of a separate arm of government, the National Assembly.
Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu said the state would vacate the court injunction, saying among other things, the four MPs have no powers to take the injunction because they do not have interest in the matter since none of them is a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission, a parliamentary body mandated to hire and fire National Assembly staff.
Some members of staff accused Speaker Richard Msowoya of nepotism and triabalism too, alleging he connived with a senior member from the Human Resources Department to arrange an interview through the Parliamentary Service Commission that suited Mkandawire.
Kalemba has not commented on the matter but she was introduced to the political leadership of the House on Thursday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :