Attorney General provokes MPs’ anger
Some Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday queried the conduct of Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale on issues surrounding the position of United Democratic Front (UDF) MPs in Parliament.
We reported in yesterday’s edition of The Daily Times that Kaphale wrote Speaker Richard Msowoya expressing his displeasure on the way the latter is handling the issue.
Rumphi East MP Kamlepo Kalua expressed concern over Kaphale’s action when he stood on a point of order soon after tea break.
“Is it in order for the AG to threaten this House?” Kalua queried.
Kaphale’s letter – which is also copied to Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu – states that the AG is concerned that Msowoya seems to ignore his earlier advice that as long as UDF MPs have not resigned from their party or joined governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), they cannot be deemed to have crossed the floor.
Msowoya, however, ruled Kalua out of order for raising the issue, saying the MPs were debating the national budget.
More MPs expressed interest to talk on the matter but Msowoya said they could not have a point of order on another point of order.
Msowoya was more elaborate later when Kalua wanted to raise the issue again.
“When matters come out in the press, you should be very calm. You can be sure that your chair is a very stable element,” he said.
His explanation, however, did not stop Lilongwe Msozi South MP Vitus Dzoole Mwale from saying that what the AG said could affect their work and it cannot go without the lawmakers’ comment.
The Speaker eventually cited Parliamentary Standing Order 99, which talks about conduct of the Speaker.
“The conduct of the Speaker, ministers, members, judges, resident magistrates and public officers shall not be called into question in the course of debate, except by way of a substantive motion containing a specific charge,” reads the Standing Order.
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