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People’s Party leader Raphael Mhone under fire

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People’s Party (PP) Members of Parliament (MPs) Thursday ganged up against the party’s leader in the House, Raphael Mhone, for flouting parliamentary procedures when removing members from various committees.

Mhone came under fire from Mangochi Monkey Bay MP Raphael Juma and Mzimba West MP Harry Mkandawire, who accused him of selfishness and cruelty in the way he is removing party members from committees.

Juma said such conduct was against Parliament’s Standing Orders.

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“I was wondering whether [there] could be a way of checking the behaviour of a leader of a party in this House [a leader] who is demonstrating cruelty, selfish behaviour. To some extent, Parliament is entertaining such a leader [giving him room] to be breaching our own Standing Orders. Standing Order 152 clearly states that it is only a chief whip who can write the Speaker on allocation of members to committees and the chief whip shall consult the member but that has not been done,” he said

He accused Mhone of allocating himself three committees.

Another PP lawmaker, Chitipa South MP Werani Chilenga, asked the House to explain if it was proper for them to be removed from committees without being consulted.

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Chilenga was recently moved from the parliamentary Committee on Climate and Natural Resources to Media and Communications Committee following reports that he had shown interest in joining the Democratic Progressive Party.

In her response, Deputy Speaker, Esther Mcheka Chilenje, observed that there was confusion in the party and promised that the Business Committee would look into the matter.

“It is clear that there is total confusion in the party and these are party matters; they cannot be discussed in this House. There is an outcry from the members and the leader that is being referred to is available. I will refer this matter to the Business Committee,” she said

Mhone declined to comment on the matter.

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