The State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has fulfilled his commitment by appearing before parliament to answer questions from members of the August house on his State of Nation Address (SONA) delivered on September 4.
The development follows the adoption of a report by Legal Affairs Committee of parliament which rolled into operation a legal provision from section 89 of the Republican Constitution which demands the Head of State to answer questions from Members of Parliament (MPs).
Before taking questions from the MPs, Chakwera started by clarifying some of the issues in relation to the members’ debate on his SONA.
The president started by addressing concerns raised by Leader of Opposition in the House, Kondwani Nankhumwa by telling him to stop complaining about issues surrounding teacher’s COVID-19 risk allowances saying he should leave the matter to Government since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime failed to address teachers’ grievance.
He therefore told Nankhumwa and other opposition MPs to stop politicizing the issue.
On trimming of presidential powers, Chakwera said he will not be responsible for appointment of the Director of Anti-Corruption (ACB) but instead the responsibility of hiring the office bearer will be left in the hands of Parliament.
Chakwera also said the role of the Chancellor of public university should be left to the academia, as one way of empowering them.
On the proposal by his administration to construct houses for Legislatures in their respective constituencies, Chakwera has defended the proposal by clarifying that the move will not drain public resources as alluded by others.
During question time, member of Parliament for Rumphi East, Kamulepo Kalua, asked for a clarification on restoration of Press Trust which he said was dubiously acquired, a question which Chakwera responded that the restoration agenda will need concerted effort including that of the Legislatures by making familiar laws.
Answering to a question from Mangochi Monkey Bay MP, Ralph Jooma, on measures put in place to ensure that Affordable Input Fertilizer (AIP) program is not abused, the President said the initiative will use national identification cards and electronic system capable of detecting any malpractice.
The questioning time lasted 1 hour 30 minutes.