Parliament suspends meetings amid Covid-19 upsurge

Parliament has temporarily suspended committee meetings following a surge in positive COVID-19 cases, admissions and deaths.

According to communication from speaker of the House Catherine Gotani Hara, the temporarily suspension of the Third Quarter Committee Meetings is with immediate effect until January 29, 2021.

“I wish to inform all Members of Parliament and Staff that following developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, I have consulted with Leaders of Political Parties and the COVID-19 Taskforce regarding the way forward on Committee Meetings for the Third Quarter.

“The consultations have resulted in the Leadership resolving to temporarily suspend Third Quarter Committee Meetings with immediate effect until January 29, 2021 in order to assess further developments of the pandemic,” reads part of the internal memorandum addressed to legislators and members of staff.

The Speaker said the House has also directed that members of staff should commence executing their duties in shifts to decongest the Parliament Building and devise appropriate response plans to safeguard the lives of the lawmakers and employees.

The Committee meetings, which started on January 4, 2021, were expected to run up to February 4, 2021.

In an interview, Parliament spokesperson Ian Mwenye said the House is currently monitoring the situation in accordance with forthcoming Mid-Year Budget Review Meeting this February.

Ever since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, Malawi Parliament has lost three lawmakers after testing positive for the virus.

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