MPs clash over Speaker’s ouster


There was chaos in Parliament Monday following rumours that the government side was plotting to oust Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya from his position.

The first one hour of the sitting after tea-break was consumed by the impeachment narrative instead of Members of Parliament (MPs) looking at the main issue which was under discussion, a statement on the Local Road Grading Programme made by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Tarcizio Gowelo.

Rumphi East MP, Kamlepo Kalua, who in this meeting has been bringing into the House controversial issues, was at it again when he introduced the impeachment subject soon after the day’s afternoon break.


“We have information that the Attorney General is drafting a bill [motion] to impeach the Speaker. Last time we lost a Speaker from the Northern Region because of such practices. We want government to come out clear on this issue,” said Kalua who stood on a point of order.

Msowoya, however, swiftly dismissed the matter, observing that it was irregular for Parliament to work on rumours.

Government Chief Whip Henry Mussa responded to


Kalua’s query by asking him to bring supporting evidence on his allegations.

Lilongwe Msozi South MP Vitus Dzoole Mwale, however, warned that the allegations that there is a plot to impeach Msowoya should not be taken lightly.

The matter took a new twist when Deputy Government Chief Whip Grace Chiumia alleged that it was actually the opposition members who were plotting Msowoya’s ouster.

“There are members from that same side of the House that are talking about impeachment. They say you want to interfere with the leadership of the MCP [Malawi Congress Party],” Chiumia said, addressing Msowoya.

The sudden twist forced the Speaker to remind the MPs of their responsibilities.

“Honourable Members, let us be serious. What you are doing is misuse of public resources and I will not allow it. Whether there is impeachment or no impeachment, that’s just dead talk,” Msowoya charged.

This calmed the waters and the MPs started contributing to the debate on Gowelo’s statement, only for Salima North West MP Jessie Kabwila to revive the matter.

“We cannot talk about graders when people are talking about impeachment,” Kabwila said.

Msowoya said “when that Bill or motion comes to the House, we will discuss it”.

Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu later cleared AG Kalekeni Kaphale’s role in the matter.

“I am not aware of that bill. I would like to distance the Attorney General from this allegation,” Tembenu said.

The MPs later resumed their discussion on Gowelo’s statement before the House adjourned for today. They only had the last fifteen minutes for that.

Earlier on, an appropriation bill of the revised budget of K802 billion for the 2014/2015 financial year also brought resistance from opposition MPs.

PP Chief Whip Ralph Jooma wondered where the figure came from as the revised budget for 2014/2015 was pegged at K769 billion

“Almost all the votes have changed. In September last year, the budget that was passed was K747 billion. It was revised to K769 billion. This afternoon, we are seeing the amount of K802 billion. Now they have overspent. Where did the extra money come from? I think we need to debate this one” Jooma said.

His concern came after the Speaker had said Standing Orders do not allow debate when looking at an appropriation bill.

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe, however, said the extra K33 billion was for salaries for civil servants.

The appropriation bill was later passed by the House.

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