MPs tussle over Mwapasa’s confirmation

There were divisions in Parliament on Tuesday after opposition members accused Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa of leaking a letter that government has written the Speaker of Parliament on Duncan Mwapasa’s confirmation.

In the morning, legislatures were supposed to go straight into deliberations on vote by vote, but instead members from the opposition benches rose on a point of order blaming the leader of the house for breaching orders of house.

Standing on a point of order, Lilongwe City North legislature Lingson Belekanyama said that the leader of the house was out of order for letting the letter into public instead of taking it into Parliament for discussion.

But reacting to the argument, Nankhumwa said there was nothing out of order since the speaker had also responded to the letter.

The opposition wanted the house suspended for some minutes in order to allow the Business Committee to discuss the issue in a closed meeting.

During the meeting, both the Leader of the House and Business Committee members agreed that it is inappropriate for the communication to go viral.

Meanwhile, Nankhumwa has accepted to have over reacted on the issue and has assured the house that he will make a communication on the matter tomorrow Wednesday.

Through the letter government has accused the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara of bias in the way she is handling the confirmation of Duncan Mwapasa as Inspector General for the Malawi Police Service.

The development follows multiple failure by the August House to approve Mwapasa despite his confirmation motion appearing on the Order Paper for a long time.

“Your decision on Friday, 4th October, 2019 to disallow my motion for extension of time to allow members to debate the issue of Mr. Duncan Mwapasa as Inspector General of Police was wrongly conceived.

“Even after more members notably on the government side, voted in favour of the extension of time than those that were against it, you went ahead to overrule the majority decision,” reads the letter in part.

Nankhumwa said the decision to curtail debate on the issue was politically motivated and dictatorial.

The Speaker is expected to deliver her ruling on whether it is Constitution for the House to confirm Mwapasa as inspector general despite the law enforcer body having another IG pending retirement as argued by opposition legislators.

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