Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara yesterday announced new leadership of the House in which newly appointed Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda is now Leader of the House while Kondwani Nankhumwa is now Leader of Opposition.
Nankhumwa was until last week’s presidential election Leader of the House, a position he can no longer hold since his Democratic Progressive Party lost the poll and has moved to the opposition side in Parliament.
Chimwendo Banda said he was grateful for the new position and that he was ready to serve the House professionally.
He said currently the most crucial issue to deal with is budget presentation as the 2019/20 financial year expires today.
“As Leader of the House, I must emphasise that our main task in this parliament meeting is the issue of budget presentation. We know we are already delayed due to the fresh presidential election but we are sure everything will go out smoothly.
“I would also like to thank the opposition side of the house for transitioning well to their new side and we know we are going to work together in making sure we deliberate the budget that the country depends on to move forward in terms of development,” Chimwendo Banda said.
Commenting on a Point of Order where the opposition side wanted other political parties in the Tonse Alliance to remain on the opposition side, Chimwendo Banda said the members have not left their parties but are just part of the alliance.
“There is nothing to worry about as we already know that nothing will change in terms of our seating in the House for the Constitution is very clear and everyone can read it,” Banda added.
A Member of Parliament can have their seat declared vacant if they cross the floor which implies joining another political party which did not sponsor their election pursuit.
Yesterday, Nankhumwa said he could not comment on his new position but promised to make a statement when the House continues meeting today.