By our Reporter
Parliament on Monday could not confirm or reject a presidential appointee for the office of Inspector General of Police over arguments on legal technicalities as opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) opposed the name of Acting Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa.
At first Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa moved a motion to vary relevant standing orders to allow confirmation of public officers starting with Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa then Auditor General Joseph Nangantani.
There was a voice vote on the motion which was defeated with a deafening ‘No’ from the opposition benches.
There was a roll call was made where 88 votes were for the motion and 67 votes against it, 35 absent and 1 abstained.
After the vote, Minister of Homeland security Nicholas Dausi moved for the confirmation of Duncan Mwapasa as IG.
MCP legislator Eisenhower Mkaka said Mwapasa is under qualified as he only has a diploma in engineering whilst there are able officers with expected qualifications.
Mkaka told the National Assembly that since Mwapasa is also mentioned in a report of a murder if Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa, there is no need to confirm him.
Leader of United Democratic Front (UDF) Lilian Patel said people should remove emotions when deciding national issues.
She said UDF believes in professionalism and merit to appointing public officers [and of course not nepotism].
People’s Party (PP) leader in the House, John Chikalimba urged legislators to vote with their consciousness on the position of Police chief while UTM’s Chrispin Mphande said Mwapasa was not fit for the position of police head because he has shown to be unprofessional.
Mwapasa was interviewed by Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament and its report says his qualifications are not agreeing with the position, but because of his experience he can be considered.
Then another issue cropped up when leader of opposition Lobin Lowe argued that the country has already a police IG in the name of Rodney Jose as the House had not yet been updated on his fate.
Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara curtailed debate on the matter following misunderstandings on the interpretation of section 154 of the constitution.
The Speaker is expected to give her ruling on the matter Tuesday afternoon.