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Parliament in early adjournment over smell, power outage

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Richard Chimwendo Banda

Intermittent power supply and a strange ‘smell’ in Parliament Tuesday caused panic among legislators, leading to the early adjournment of sitting.

Instead of adjourning the august House at 5pm, Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara adjourned business at 4pm.

The adjournment was preceded by several power outages at the building in the morning, causing the house to go for an early tea break at 10:30am instead of 10:45am.

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The power outage continued haunting the legislators after tea break, forcing the House to go for an early lunch break at 11.30am instead of 12.30pm.

When the House reconvened at 2pm, Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda announced that there was a strange smell in the chamber. The House was then adjourned to today.

Banda told reporters outside the House that he was not sure if the issue had to do with a fire incident or something else.

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“We cannot draw a conclusion as to whether it was [a case of] fire or not because I have not seen the fire, I detected the smell and that is why I rose up to let the Speaker know,” he said.

During deliberations in the morning, Lilongwe City Centre legislator Alfred Jiya said he was concerned with the state of the Parliament Building which, he claimed, had developed some leakages.

Jiya later told The Daily Times that the building was in poor state that did not befit the 193 legislators.

“When you just enter into the so-called magnificent building, you are welcomed by a leakage and when you look at the floor, it is not well done. The floor is in a very chaotic condition, especially when you look at the roof itself because of the heavy leakage that is there,” he said.

Despite the interruptions, the legislators managed to deliberate on several issues including the effects of Tropical storm Gombe on the country. They called for increased financial resources to recovery programmes.

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