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Mayhem

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There was mayhem and drama at Parliament Friday when antics by Democratic Progressive Party – DPP cadets over shadowed the opening of budget session by State President Peter Mutharika.

This is something that has never happened before in the country, especially when a president is addressing Parliament.

It was clear from the start that the party zealots were up to no good, as they tried to prevent some DPP legislators, deemed sympathetic to Vice President Saulos Chilima, from entering Parliament premises.

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These include Mulanje West legislator Patricia Kaliati and Blantyre East Member of Parliament, Noel Masangwi.

Masangwi had come in the limelight after advising the party to accommodate the views of those proposing that Chilima should be the torch bearer for the DPP in next year’s election at the expense of Mutharika who they believe is advanced in age.

When the President was delivering his State of the Nation Address – SONA, some legislators on the opposition benches were murmuring, disapproving what Mutharika was claiming as his achievement in fighting corruption.

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Sensing that their President was being booed, a group of DPP fanatics who were strategically positioned in the public gallery started chanting in support of the President.

The Legislators then demanded that the fanatics be removed from the Chamber.

This created chaos as the cadets and the opposition MPs continued to trade bulbs, which forced the President to stop reading his speech for over 10 minutes.

He sought protection from Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya against his own party followers, who had interrupted him from delivering the SONA.

The cadets even intimidated members of the press who were seating in the gallery listening to the President.

In exercising his powers, the Speaker ordered that the DPP fanatics be forcefully removed from the galleries by the Sergeant at Arms, assisted by the police.

However the cadets refused to live the gallery and stayed put.

The Speaker assured the President to carry on as DPP Secretary General and Nkhotakota South legislator Gressedar Jeffrey went round the gallery, reminding the party followers the importance of Parliament procedures.

Reacting to the developments, government spokesperson Nicholus Dausi said he will look into the matter, adding that the cadets will be disciplined by the party.

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