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Parliament bans former Speaker

Former Speaker of Parliament, Davis Katsonga, was on Wednesday ordered not to appear in Parliament for one week for defying the Parliamentary dress code again.

On Tuesday, Katsonga who represents Mwanza Central Constituency, walked out of the House in protest against the Second Deputy Speaker, Clement Chiwaya’s, ruling that the cultural headgear is not allowed in Parliament.

At the time Katsonga was walking out on Tuesday, Chiwaya had already invoked Standing Order 105 for Katsonga to move out and come back Wednesday.

But Katsonga went back to Parliament, Wednesday afternoon in his Ngoni culture headgear again prompting Lilongwe North East lawmaker Maxwell Thyolera to ask for Chiwaya’s decision.

“Mr Second Deputy Speaker Sir, yesterday you advised an honourable member about the dress code for this House and you directed that if any member has an issue with the dress code, they can report the same to the Legal Affairs Committee.

“To our surprise, the honourable member is back in the House in the same attire. Is it in order for the member to do that?” Thyolera said.

Chiwaya said he was equally surprised with Katsonga’s behaviour and there was nothing he could do apart from sending the misbehaving lawmaker out of the House.

“Him being a former Speaker, is supposed to be exemplary. Because of that, I invoke Section 105 and he should not attend proceedings for one week,” Chiwaya said.

Before moving out amidst “Bayethe Nkosi” chants from some Members of Parliament, Katsonga said he was supposed to be heard first but his microphone was switched off.

In his ruling on Tuesday, Chiwaya said the parliamentary dress code only allows female lawmakers wear on headgear.

“If you want a change of the code then consult relevant committees including the Legal Affairs Committee,” he said.

But Katsonga said he is an Impi of the Maseko Ngonis’ Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V and he was wearing headgear in line with such a cultural duty.

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