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Malawi Congress Party boycotts State cocktail

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has said it is insensitive for government to hold a reception for Members of Parliament at a time the same government is failing to meet needs of Malawians.

The party, through its spokesperson Jessie Kabwila, told reporters in Lilongwe that its MPs would not attend a reception that was scheduled for last night at Kamuzu Palace.

“We were invited to a banquet, but as a party we feel there are more pressing issues government should attend to. We are talking about shortage of drugs in our hospitals, delays in salaries and many other problems. Why should we be dining and wining in such times? As MCP we feel this is not time for that. We are, therefore, not attending the banquet,” Kabwila said.

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On Tuesday, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Clement Chiwaya, announced that all MPs were being invited to a reception that was expected to take place Wednesday evening.

At the MCP press conference, there were four other MPs who spoke against the said reception, which they were calling a banquet.

The MPs were Juliana Lunguzi (Dedza East), Alexander Dzonzi (Dowa West), Peter Dimba (Lilongwe South) and Amon Nkhata (Kasungu Central).

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Lunguzi, who is also chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Health, added: “It is disappointing that at a time we are facing hurdles in the health sector, we should have a banquet. We cannot do that at a time our relatives are suffering. It doesn’t make sense.”

They also expressed concern at the amount of K300 million earmarked for Independence Day celebrations.

The MPs also spared some time to speak against the sale of the Malawi Savings (MSB).

In an interview, Leader of the House, Francis Kasaila, said the MCP missed the significance of the meeting with Mutharika.

“This kind of politics is primitive. It is just an interaction between the President and the MPs. If at all they think they can save money by not attending the reception, they should also have suggested that Parliament should not meet. But at the moment, they are getting allowances. Some even want the allowances to be raised,” Kasaila said.

In his communication to the MPs at the end of yesterday’s sitting, Speaker Richard Msowoya reminded the MP, of what he then called ‘a cocktail’.

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