Experts question Mutharika`s Parliament absence

A political scholar has expressed suspicion over President Peter Mutharika`s move to deliver a recorded State of the Nation Address (Sona) at Parliament Building.

According to the Business Committee of the House, Mutharika has opted for a recorded address as COVID-19 preventive measure.

But commenting on the development, University of Livingstonia based political scientist George Phiri questioned President Mutharika`s timing on availing himself in the Honourable House.

“No, the reason is not genuine enough, we were supposed to have the President there [in Parliament] but any way we accept him thought it doesn’t make sense,” observed Phiri.

He said it ironic to see Mutharika saying he is abiding by the COVID-19 preventive measures yet recently he conducted stop overs where there were hundreds of people.

“How would the same President who said he does not want to go to the public because of COVID-19 and in just few days he was at a public rally, now he says he can’t go and make State of the Nation Address, it doesn’t make any sense,” wondered Phiri.

Meanwhile, law expert Dr. Dingiswayo Madise has said the country` s laws are not clear on Mutharika`s physical absence in the House in the wake of COVID-19.

“According to law, it says the President shall attend Parliament, meaning is assumed that the President will physically attend but because of COVID we have now have a new environment of communication then it’s something the law never really considered,” said Dr. Madise

The lawmakers are expected to debate the Sona fromJune 8-11, 2020.

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