Written by Enock Balakasi
Forum for National Development (FND) a state funded CSO and some concerned citizen have called for an immediate resignation of speaker of National Assembly Hon Richard Msowoya for flouting Malawi’s public constitution section 65 (1) of the country’s constitution which prohibits Members of Parliament (MPs) from crossing the floor.
FND National Coordinator Fryson Chozi, Chairperson Bright Kampawundi and Kamangira held a press conference in Lilongwe on Tuesday morning where they made these proclamations.
Msowoya, a long time MP for the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and presidential running mate resigned from the party and joined the United Transformation Movement (UTM), a new political grouping being led by Malawi’s State Deputy President Saulos Chilima.
Section 65 (1) reads, “The Speaker shall declare vacant the seat of any member of thegroupingl Assembly who was, at the time of his or her election, a member of one political party represented in the National Assembly, other than by that member alone but who has voluntarily ceased to be a member of that party or has joined another political party represented in the National Assembly, or has joined any other political party, or association or organization whose objectives or activities are political in nature”.
According to Chozi, Kampawundi and Kamangira, by voluntarily resigning from MCP and joining UTM, Msowoya has crossed the floor which is a violation of section 65 (1).
“The million dollar question is, how would the Speaker judge against himself in a matter he is equally a culprit? He must resign to pave the way for either the First Deputy Speaker or Second Deputy Speaker or any independent person to declare his seat and those of the other MPs vacant for defying the law,” noted Kamangira.
Meanwhile, FND has given Msowoya the next seven days to consider announcing his resignation stating that failure to do so will force the FND to commerce citizen and appropriate actions to uphold constitution.
However, Msowoya has not yet commented on the matter.