Site icon The Times Group Malawi


Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Lazarus Chakwera, yesterday led his Members of Parliament (MPs) in walking out of Parliament in protest against the reluctance by the government to table the Electoral Reforms Amendment Bills.
Other MPs for People’s Party (PP) also joined the boycott, telling The Daily Times outside the chamber that they would not take part in the deliberations.
This was despite Leader of the House, Kondwani Nankhumwa, saying that the Business Committee of Parliament would meet today from 09:30am to determine what would be discussed by the lawmakers and that the issue of bills would also be considered.
Nankhumwa said some bills were ready for tabling, but the absence of the same on the day’s Order Paper meant otherwise.
Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya, emphasised that it was necessary for the government side to pronounce itself on the bills which, he said, Malawians are very curious about.
“These are important bills, about which this House should be very clear. I even made an enquiry last week on Wednesday on progress on the bills,” Msowoya said.
But Nankhumwa’s response was not convincing. This prompted Chakwera to announce that he and his fellow opposition MPs were walking out and would not return until the bills are brought to Parliament for debate.
Then Msowoya announced that there was nothing he could do to stop those who marched out of the chamber as it is their democratic right, but declared that business would continue with those who remained in the chamber.
By the time the lawmakers were going for a health break—around 15:45pm—PP had eight MPs on its benches while the government side had 44 of them.
In an interview, Chakwera said he had expected the government side to bring the bills by yesterday because time is running out.
“It is not right that the government promises a thing it does not want to fulfill. Two weeks ago, they told us that the bills would be ready and we expected that, by today, there should be something about it on the Order Paper. But there is no indication to that effect,” he said.
In a separate interview with Nankhumwa, he expressed concern over the manner in which MCP had reacted to the absence of the bills on the Order Paper.
“They [MCP] want the bills today but, without an agenda, the Business Committee cannot meet because, in that case, we will have nothing to discuss,” Nankhumwa said.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Exit mobile version