DPP’s SONA response not part of Hansard – Speaker 

Speaker of the national assembly Catherine Gotani Hara has directed that a response to the state of the nation address (SONA) that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) delivered outside of the House will not form part of the Hansard.   

The directive follows denial by the main opposition party to respond to the SONA right in the House after being allocated time to make its response.

In her ruling, Gotani Hara said everything that is spoken outside the chamber cannot form part of the parliamentary records.

But reacting to the order, DPP leader in the house Mary Navicha said the Party already responded to the President’s address through Malawians on Tuesday.

She said: “Indeed, the Speaker has indicated that whatever we discussed whatever we talked in outside the house will not be part of the Hansard of this house. We are totally agreeing with that. We have accepted that indeed, even if it was our response will be not part of Hansard.

“But Malawians have got message. The president has got the message. And what we are waiting for is not our response to be in the Hansard, but we are looking for action. We need our president to take action on our concerns as you are aware Malawians are going through a lot of Malawians are suffering.”

On Thursday, members of the Party attended the meeting after boycotting proceeding for two days in solidarity of their colleagues who were suspended for what the Speaker called unruly behaviour.

According to Navicha, DPP will take all necessary steps to hold government into accounts in all its dealing for the sake of Malawians.

“As you know that DPP is the peaceful party and the whole opposition benches. We are very peaceful people, but we cannot tolerate bad policies to our people time for taking Malawians for granted is gone and we are here to represent Malawians.

“We are here to voice out what Malawians are telling us to speak so as the opposition we are here, not just opposing for the sake of opposing but telling the government the real situation on the ground. That’s why we are here,” pointed out Navicha.

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