LILONGWE-(MaraviPost- The budget session of Parliament that currently under way in the capital Lilongwe, on Monday nearly went into pandemonium after the main Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Salima North-West Jessie Kabwira, moved a motion to curtain the day’s deliberation to pave way for Government to address the current teachers’ nationwide strikes, with urgency.
MP Kabwira went further and asked Minister of Education Emmanuel Fabiano to resign for being accused of gross incompetency, and inept to address teachers’ woes, and labor disputes at Chancellor College, a constituent of University of Malawi. These squabbles in his ministry have been going on for over half a year.
Kabwira who stood to contribute on the 2017/2018 National budget statement that was presented in the House by Finance Minister Godall Gondwe last month, accused Minister Fabiano for being inept, and relaxed in the Chamber, when the country was breading with the teachers strike.
She was contributing after reports reached Parliament that on Monday, public primary school students in Blantyre spilled to streets, in protest against the closure of schools due to the ongoing teachers’ sit-in.
“We can’t allow our honorable Minister to be relaxed here, including the entire House, when the country is bleeding outside. With such an attitude, it just shows how incompetent and inept the minister is. Being an academician, he knows well how such industrial strikes affect education standards which is key to this country.
“Can the minister resign for gross of incompetency, after failing to address the problem? And therefore, Honourable Speaker, allow me to move the motion that Government be moved with urgency to address the matter as soon as possible”, charged Kabwira.
But in a point of order, Education Minister Fabiano, stood challenging Kabwira of the calls; he argued that Finance Minister Gondwe was in better position to respond to the teachers’ and Chancellor College challenges.
Fabiano said the treasury was the responsible department for disbursement of funds,
not his ministry. The Minister’s response however, angered the whole House.
In the near melee that erupted, Finance Minister Gondwe, assured Parliament and the nation that by close of business on Monday, the teachers arrears will be finalized and that on Tuesday, the teachers’ bank accounts will be credited with the funds.
The Finance Minister, again confessed to the House that he cheated the nation that the ministry paid off the arrears, when technically, nothing was done.
On their part, the leadership and members of the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM), stood their ground that teachers will not go back to work, until all concerned teachers, receive their dues.