Speaker backs Lucius’ move


Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya has said there is no conflict for the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) leader in the House Lucius Banda to sit on the opposition side while his fellow party Members of Parliament are on government benches.

Msowoya was asked to state whether there are standing orders that can ably guide the House on the matter after UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga also said the Speaker will guide them on the matter.

“As far as I am concerned there are no standing orders that state that the party leader in the house should sit on the same side with his MPs. There is no confusion on this matter. Indeed there are rules in Parliament but I can only apply them when the other party of the matter in question feels injured,” said Msowoya.


He said there is absolutely nothing that he can do on the matter because what Banda has done is a personal decision.

On the other hand, Ndanga said the party appreciates and respects the decision Banda has made. He said the MP is simply exercising his rights in that regard. He also said there will be no victimisation or retribution against Banda because UDF is a democratic party and it encourages people to be free and open.

He, said the party will resolve the matter amicably adding that people are free to approach the party’s leadership and give their opinion on the issue. He said Banda has been a loyal member of UDF and such being the case they do not see the reason why they should take a disciplinary action against him.


“We know that there have been fears amongst UDF followers that we may end up joining the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but let me assure Malawians that the party cannot be disbanded. We have a large following and what has happened in Parliament is just a sitting arrangement and it does not make us less UDF,” he explained.

Earlier, Banda, who has defied the party’s decision to relocate from opposition to government benches said he will continue speaking on behalf of UDF while sitting on opposition benches. He also insisted that he will still continue supporting government.

UDF MPs started sitting on government benches on Tuesday when President Peter Mutharika opened the budget meeting in Parliament.

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