Leader of government business in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Tuesday came under fire from opposition benches for making publicly his letter to Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani-Hara over her conduct in the august House.
Nankhumwa wrote Hara on October 7 2019 expressing dismay with how she has been conducting business in the chamber, accusing her of showing glaring bias against the government side during debates and other related matter.
After Parliament had reconvened for yesterday’s business, opposition members of Parliament, led by Dedza South legislator Ishmael Onani, expressed frustration over the matter, accusing Nankhumwa of being immature despite holding the position for more than once.
Lilongwe Msinja South MP, Lingson Belekanyama, said the leader had diluted the principles of the House, adding that the matter could have been brought to the business committee.
“It is not proper to go in the public domain demeaning the Speaker of the House. The leader is the owner of the [national] budget; he is a person of integrity and we cannot allow that to happen,” he said.
The opposition bench was in an apparent united front blocking the continuation of the committee of supply when chairperson of the committee who is First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Madalitso Kazombo, had taken over the chair.
The lawmakers demanded a resolution of the matter before proceeding with the business and Dowa East MP, Richard Chimwendo Banda, proposed a 30-minute suspension of the House to allow the business committee to meet and resolve the matter.
“The issue is very sensitive and requires maturity,” he said.
But Homeland Security Minister, Nicholas Dausi, proposed a meeting while the House proceeded with the business and Kazombo bought the idea.
Upon returning from the committee, interim Leader of Opposition, Lobin Lowe, told the House that three issues were out of order which Nankhumwa had also admitted.
“We considered the tone of the communication which was not palatable. The way the communication was handled to have gone viral was very unfortunate and the intention of the communication which was supposed to be a concern. Any organisation has some conflicts which need to be managed appropriately,” he said
Lowe said the leader of the House had admitted to have overreacted.
Nankhumwa earlier admitted to have written the letter and said the Speaker had responded.
“Indeed, I wrote the letter and the Speaker has responded,” he said
He, however, said a detailed resolution on the matter would be brought before the chamber once the committee of supply is suspended.