BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Speaker of the Nation Assembly, Richard Msowoya, has warned Members of parliament who abscond deliberations willy-nilly that they risk having their allowances withdrawn.
Msowoya sent the strong message at the beginning of the parliament sitting on Monday after observing that cases of absenteeism are on the increase.
“In view of this observation, the committee of chairs and supported by the leaders of political parties represented in the business committee resolved that, with immediate effect, the office should recover allowances from members who do not attend the plenary and committee meetings without leave of absence or without valid reasons as required by the Standing Order 41,” communicated Msowoya.
The MPs receive their allowances through their bank accounts transferred to their accounts before, during or after the meetings.
Leader of the House Francis Kasaila welcomed the development, saying it would help change the behaviour of some Members of Parliament who may have been absent in the committees and in the Chamber.
Kasaila said it was Government’s expectation that MPs would be attending Parliament sittings.
Standing Order 41 (2) says “a Member of Parliament who is granted leave of absence is excused from the service of the Assembly or any committee. The leave is forfeited if the member attends in the Chamber of the Assembly or attends a committee before the end of the period of leave.
While 41(3) stipulate that “a Member who is absent without seeking leave of absence shall forfeit all allowances during the period of absence.”
“Those MPs were elected by their constituents. I believe the constituents are able to follow what the MPs are doing,” said Kasaila.