Tempers flared in Parliament Wednesday as lawmakers demanded an apology from a secretariat worker who had received a donation of condoms on Tuesday. The legislators also ordered the return of the donation.
During the donation, it was revealed that 10,000 condoms are ‘consumed’ at Parliament building per month, a development some lawmakers from both sides of the isle charged demean them.
The matter was first brought in the chamber by Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo who clarified that the condoms are accessed by all stakeholders including visitors and journalists.
“These condoms are there not only for Members of Parliament [MPs] but for all stakeholders that come to Parliament. These 193 MPs, 250 members of staff, journalists, officials accompanying Honorable members, outsourced staff and many more access them. It is therefore wrong for people to conclude that MPs are the ones consuming the condoms. This is unfair,” Kazombo said.
In his contribution, MP for Blantyre City South East Constituency, Sameer Suleiman, demanded that Head of Administration at Parliament, Maggie Chinsinga—who had provided the statistics— should furnish the august House with evidence of the figures.
MP for Nkhotakota Martha Chanjo Lunji claimed that the dignity of female lawmakers had been hurt and that the news may dent their image in the constituencies and the chamber.
The matter led to the suspension of the proceedings for the Business Committee to map the way forward before Kazombo later announced that the condoms would be returned to the donor and that Chinsinga had apologised on the same.
News of Parliament consuming ‘substantial’ volumes of condoms went viral on social media with some individuals finding nothing wrong with the ‘need’ and others suggesting it was ‘too much’.