LILONGWE-(MaraviPost) – In the absence of agriculture minister George Chaponda who is also the leader of the house, Speaker Richard Msowaya on Monday recognised Kondwani Nankhumwa as acting  Leader of the House in Malawi Parliament.

Nankhumwa’s recognition came after opposition lawmakers in the just opened 2016 Budget Review meeting asked Msowaya to officially announce the suspension of Chaponda following the court injunction restraining him from executing as minister of agriculture until presidential commission of inquiry results are out.

Richard Msowoya: Malawi Speaker Of Parliament

The house even went into pandemonium with numerous points of orders questioning the speaker’s mandate of transacting the Parliament business when its own standing order requires that the leader of the house should be in session.

Opposition legislators including Peoples Party (PP) leader Uladi Mussa and Salima North West Jessie Kabwila asked Msowoya to announce in the House that Chaponda is officially suspended from the House following the court order.

Musa who is also PP’s leader in the house observed that it was an anomaly that business was going on before the appointment of a new Leader of the House.

The law makers went further questioning the Speaker of handling the house when the Business Committee did not meet for this mid-year budget review.

The Speaker however defended the proceedings arguing that parliamentary standing orders are clear that in the absence of the Leader of the House, the deputy Leader of the House shall take over.

Msowoya therefore said the house should recognize Kondwani Nankhumwa as acting Leader of the House in the absence of the suspended Minister Chaponda who did not show up at Parliament session.

He hinted that the Speaker’s office will make a decision on the matter after was furnished with official communication on the suspension of Chaponda.

“In the absence of communication from the court and from the government, I recognize the deputy leader as Leader of the House until such a time when the Leader of the House shall return to the House.

“As a citizen of this country, I am following issues happening in this country, but this is the House of records, I can’t take what newspapers are publishing or what radios are announcing”, Msowaya said.

On why the house was in session after the business committee did not meet, Msowoya said the issue would be tabled at Business Committee meeting on Wednesday.

Thereafter the business went on with minister of Education presenting a ministerial statement to the House on the status of education in the country.

 

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