By: Lloyd M’bwana
Spending sleepless nights over the disputed Lilongwe City South East constituency as to whom is the legitimate legislator, it’s not the vocabulary of Bentley Namasasu the seating Member of Parliament (MP) whom Malawi Electoral Elections (MEC)’s 2014 tripartite elections declared as a winner against Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Ulemu Msungama.
Msungama successfully challenged the results in court whereby the High Court declared the constituency vacant hence ordered the rerun which DPP Namasasu obtained a straining order from of the Supreme Court of Appeal over the lower court ruling in October, 2014
It’s almost two years elapsed after the Malawi Supreme Court of granted MP Namasasu an injunction stopping the rerun of the seat following High Court order which is seen as denying justice to MCP Msungama.
A fortnight ago, The Maravi Post featured Msungama in forum on the prospects the stand off whom vehemently stood firm of not giving up the court battle until justice was to be prevailed.
In a balanced state affair, this week The Maravi Post (MP)’s Reporter Lloyd M’bwana in the capital Lilongwe caught up with MP Namasasu on how the two years has been while seating on the disputed constituency, prospects of development and among others. Excerpts:
MP: Hon Namasasu, a Member of Parliament for Lilongwe City South East, can you please give us and our readers on how the two years has been considering that your seating on disputed constituency?
Namasasu: Well! It has been an intriguing two years considering that my constituents who elected me into this position have had
expectations for development and addressing challenges encountering which I found. Now, those expectations need to be dealt with my presence in improving their social and economic well being for the better.
MP: Which challenges did you find upon declared as a legislator for this constituency?
Namasasu: This is an urban area comprise middle and lower class of people with hard working spirit whose efforts just need nurturing. However, drinking water, access to health services and road networks remain major challenges for the constituency in almost all wards. Therefore, my job is to improve these hiccups for better life.
MP: With due respect, Hon Namasasu, you are manning on the disputed seat as your rival camp still itching and claiming that you rigged the elections. How are implementing developmental projects in such unfair conducive environment?
Namasasu: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! (Laughs). Claiming that I rigged the elections? You are joking! Anyway, in politics one always expects to face problems. My job now is to serve every one regarding different political affiliation. As such, there’s one Member of Parliament for this constituency who was sworn in, none other than Bentley Namasasu while the rest are crying babies over split milk. My responsibility is to give the constituency of best my ability.
MP: How supportive are your constituents on developmental projects implementing?
Namasasu: Good question! To be honest with you, the constituents are very supportive. This can testified based on developmental projects have been achieved through Local Development Fund (LDF). This could not be achieved if the constituents were not supportive. Their support have helped me to build bridges, renovating school blocks and roofs, extending police unit and currently the health facility construction is underway.
MP: Hon. Namasasu, since you were declared a lawmaker for this constituency, court battles have been the order of the day till now
that you obtained a court order in the Supreme Court of Appeal restraining the rerun of the election. If you are a legitimate winner
why seeking court remedy for this?
Namasasu: No! no! no! (Not agreeing on the question) This matter you are dragging me into now is in court. So, commenting on the same is tantamount to contempt of court. Therefore, I won’t comment on this matter.
MP: Hon. I will still insist on your persistently seeking court injunctions when the judge ruled against your wishes all along. If you
won the elections diligently why could you just free the court to rerun the constituency as it was declared vacant?
Namasasu: I maintain not answering the question as the matter is in court. So, let’s respect it. What you must know is that I remain a Member of Parliament in that constituency and nobody else.
MP: Are these court fights derailing your efforts to transform the constituency?
Namasasu: It doesn’t affect me at all as my focus is on developing the area which has been sidelined for several years. If these caught battles were over my head, numerous developmental projects underway so far couldn’t been there. In fact, I don’t lose a sleep over this court issue.
MP: We have hearing reports that some lawmakers in other constituencies fight with ward councilors over developmental funds
ownership. How close are you with councilors?
Namasasu: Wow, very interesting question! I am very closely working with them. This is the reason I earlier boasted about implementation of the developmental projects. For your own information, the constituency consists of six wards councilors, four of them are for DPP while the two belong to MCP. But this doesn’t affect distribution of the developments as I share them equally without hitches. In fact one market project currently underway at Golgotha is in MCP Ward councilor. If I was an incompetent manager, definitely, that project could have not been there. Mostly, I do invite them for developmental meetings on the needs of people in their respective wards. My view is that we are all Malawians serving Malawians.
MP: So, what’s your developmental bench marks end of this five year term of office as a lawmaker for this constituency?
Namasasu: They should expect quality health facility through the hospital currently underway, improved road networks, water and
education systems. Let me remind constituents that I will live to promises made to them for better livelihoods. For instance I promised to upgrade the road network at Don Bosco during campaign, the time I am talking to you; people are using the road because the work was done before 2014 elections. This shows how committed and dedicated I am to my people’s interests.
MP: We are asking these developmental questions as your counterpart still doubts your capability as a legitimate Member of Parliament for that seat. Are they reading too much on you?
Namasasu: Doubting Thomases will never cease in this world. No matter how one strives to achieve something, some will always say bad things about you. This is underlined as well in the bible. Remember not all people will be happy when see you advancing in life will still doubts your capabilities.
MP: Hon, the constituency you are currently seating on has numerous numbers of youths looming around, jobless. What programs are on stalk for them during your five year-term?
Namasasu: The answer is simple, education, that’s the key. This is the reason the currently DPP administration is emphasizing on
entrepreneurship education whereby young people are trained in vocation skills for self employment rather than color jobs. I will
make sure that youth in this constituency benefit from such programs to alleviate their poverty.
MP: Our readers might be interested to know your personal life outside politics. Who is Bentley Namasasu?
Namasasu: You are very funny! It could have been better if not responded to this question. But all in all I have no choice. Actually,
I am a married man with five children-three sons and twin daughters. I am a prayerful person with every Sunday going to church.
I regularly read the Bible for inspiration on my position as a Member of Parliament. God always give each leader its own time to manage community once that time elapses nobody can force him or her to stay. Therefore, this is my time to serve the people for Lilongwe City South East Constituency which I thank God for that. During free time, I do watch movies while sometimes go out with my family just to have breathing space. However, I am into buying and selling agricultural produces businesses which bring us food on the table.
MP: Finally, what’s your word are you leaving us with, your constituents and our readers on the seat you are currently serving? Namasasu: The people I serve in Lilongwe City South East must trust my ability that their votes didn’t go in vain and that they made a right decision. Therefore, I am here to serve them with total commitment hence their support in much needed on this journey. There are big plans in the offing which needs everybody in the constituency to take part for transformation.
MP: Thank you very much, Hon Namasasu for your time by giving our readers your side of story on the disputed Lilongwe City South East. We are wishing well in persecuting developmental projects for your constituents.
Namasasu: You are welcome. It’s been intriguing interview with you, The Maravi Post. Hoping to engage you more on development projects embarking for the general public to judge my ability as whether I am a legitimate lawmaker or not, I say, thank you!