ColumnsHitting The Nail

I expected Parliament to be different


I have high regard and expectations of Parliament as an arm of government that is constitutionally charged to play an oversight role to the Executive.

I am always enthralled whenever the House meets and the legislators, especially those from the opposition, take up their rightful role to ask government to account for its actions and use of tax kwachas.

The budget sessions are the most interesting of them all as MPs scrutinise vote after vote and line by line to make sure that it makes sense and everything adds up.


All this has somehow come crashing down for me in the past seven days or so.

The issue at hand is the four vehicles that Parliament bought for Speaker Richard Msowoya (got the best Land cruiser VX8 as the barracuda that cost the tax payers a cool K97 million), Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera and the two deputy speakers at a staggering cost of K300 million.

In buying the vehicles at a time the country is struggling, Parliament went against a government directive banning such apparent wastefulness, according to Minister of Information Jappie Mhango.


In fact, Mhango adds that Parliament was told that OPC has excess old vehicles due to a small number of Cabinet members which government was happy to offload to Parliament and that this too fell on deaf ears.

Msowoya disputes this version of events and has been all over, justifying the purchase of the monster vehicles.

Basically, Msowoya argues government knew all along about the purchase of the vehicles, insisting that Parliament is not independent to procure anything including

a drink bottle without the approval of government.

The Speaker remembers to conclude for us that Mhango has been in a propaganda mode, trying to divert Malawians’ attention from real issues that are affecting them by talking about Parliament vehicles.

But missing in Msowoya’s defence is the immorality of purchasing expensive machines using taxpayers’ kwachas for the comfort of the few elites at a time the majority of Malawians are suffering without food, drugs and their children are learning under trees.

This is my only big disappointment with Msowoya. He is a big let-down.

I have one conclusion from all this and it is that we Malawians should never be cheated that the opposition is different. They are all the same and all they are interested in their own comfort.

The opposition talks what they talk not because they really feel for Malawians. It is mere jealousy and tomorrow, if Malawians were to give them power, they would behave the same way which is to feed their bellies first at tax payers expense without blinking or batting an eyelid and Msowoya has embodied it all.

Opposition MPs, led by Msowoya in Parliament, have been all over blaming government for lack of right priorities and over-expenditure but when it comes to their salaries and perks, everything goes.

Never make a mistake. I am not saying Msowoya and his two deputies should walk when discharging their duties. I would be out of mind to say that.

It is just that Msowoya is defending the purchase in a wrong way. It seems to me the issue of morality does not exist in his vocabulary.

Rather, the matter is everybody from the ministers and principal secretaries to the judges has fancy and monstrous cars and why should we be the exception?

But hello! Two wrongs don’t make a right. In fact, Parliament as an institution would look saintly if it did things differently as a people’s institution.

This was my expectation and hope. But they have both been dashed courtesy of Msowoya and his fancy cars which, apparently, he loves.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker