March 1, 2021

Legislator to Write Attorney General on Parliamentary Standing Orders

Blantyre South legislator, Hon. Noel Lipipa MP, says he may consider writing the Attorney General, Dr. Chikosa Silungwe for his opinion on the election of Mulanje Central legislator, Kondwani Nankhumwa MP as Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

Hon. Lipipa says as legislators they are always encouraged to follow the law because the law is our standard and in the election of Nankhumwa the law is being faulted.

DPP leader, Former President Prof. Peter Mutharika is allegedly suspected to have met the Disciplinary Committee on recommendations to fire Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition in Parliament replacing him with Hon. Francis Kasaila, Member of Parliament for Nsanje central constituency.

Nankhumwa’s leadership in parliament is still being challenged by some DPP members

This arrangement did not go well with the DPP parliamentarians in the National Assembly who argued that the position of Leader of Opposition is an elected one by Members of Parliament according to their laid down Standing Orders in Parliament and not appointed by a party leader, dismissing the appointment of Kasaila describing it as falling short of the Standing Orders.

The DPP legislators went ahead to conduct an election in the presence of the National Organizing Committee [NGC] with the party’s Secretary General, Grezelder Jeffrey as the Chief Presiding Officer who announced that Nankhumwa  emerged  the winner with 38 votes, Kasaila 4 while Bright Msaka got 1 vote.

The development of holding an election by the DPP Parliamentarians themselves for the Leader of Opposition made Blantyre South legislator, Noel Lipipa to choose not to take part in the so called Election.

Writing on his official face book page, Lipipa says the Parliamentary Standing Order 35[1] reads…’’The Leader of Opposition shall be elected by the party not in Government having the greatest numerical strength in Parliament at any point in time and officially announced as such by the Speaker,’’….

Mutharika’s temporary appointment of Kasaila to lead the house is in order – Lipupa

Lipipa says Parliamentary Standing Order 36 reads……’’The Leader of Opposition may be only be removed by the party that elected him or her,’’……..

He says the party is not the 47 Members of Parliament [MPs] who purportedly in a comedy of Errors, the party is structured and former President, who is leader of the party, Prof. Peter Mutharika, remains the President of the party saying the authority to temporarily appoint Francis Kasaila is in order.

Meanwhile, DPP Secretary General, Grezelder Jeffrey has written a letter to Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara MP asking her to announce the name of Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition. In a letter dated 1st October, 2020 reads as follows;…..In view of the foregoing, may I request you, Honorable to proceed with announcement of the same in the Chamber in accordance with Standing Order 35[2][b]. Please accept, Madam Speaker, assurances of my highest consideration…

By Vincent Gunde

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