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DPP turns House into battlefield

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Catherine Gotani Hara

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) battles took a new twist Thursday in Parliament when the party’s parliamentarian Shadric Namalomba refused to listen to the Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa, who asked him to assume his allocated seat in the House.

Nankhumwa asked the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara to tell Namalomba to return to his seat, which is number 100.

Namalomba had moved to seat number 25 after obtaining a court injunction restraining Nankhumwa from appointing a shadow cabinet the august House. and DPP spokespersons in

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The opposition’s seating plan changed following Nankhumwa’s appointment of a shadow cabinet but, with the court injunction, the seating plan reverted to the original arrangement.

Namalomba challenged Nankhumwa that he had returned to his number 25 because of the court order.

He said before turning to the courts, he made an effort by presenting the issue to his party before taking it to the Speaker, who referred him back to the party, but he was not assisted.

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“Today Madam Speaker, I am here not because of you, not because of the Leader of Opposition. I am here because of the courts,” he said.

Gotani Hara said she could not act on the issue because she was waiting for formal communication from the court.

“We have not been served [with court documents]. There are procedures. The court knows. They are supposed to give that information to Parliament.

“So, we have not been served with that [court order]. I know you did forward it to me but that was informal and I can only wait for formal communication which we are supposed to be served with properly. And I am sure your counsels know the procedure of serving Parliament with an injunction,” Gotani Hara said.

Namalomba obliged but said: “If my party here does not want me, there are people there [government side] who want me.”

His statement attracted clapping from the government side.

Recently, Namalomba obtained a court order restraining Nankhumwa from making any decision in the House without consulting the party and the High Court sitting in Zomba also granted Namalomba his request to apply for judicial review that would be heard in an open court.

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