Katsonga’s headgear affects deliberations in the House

Written by  Gladys Nthenda

Deliberations in the House were on Tuesday morning temporarily disrupted over the dressing of a headgear by Mwanza Central Member of Parliament Davies Katsonga.

Hon. Katsonga Hon. Katsonga


A Former Speaker of Parliament; Katsonga came donning a Ngoni traditional headgear; a development which prompted Dedza South West legislator Clement Mlombwa to rise on a point of concern to the Second Deputy Speaker Clement Chiwaya.

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Mlombwa wondered if it was right and proper for Katsonga to wear the traditional headgear in the August House and urged Chiwaya to make a ruling on the matter.

Chiwaya clearly stated that standing orders only allowed women to put on headgear emphasizing that headgears or traditional wear by men should hence not form part of dressing in Parliament.


The Second Deputy Speaker however reminded the members that they have the power to amend and make changes if they so wished on this clause.

Katsonga justified his wearing of the traditional gear arguing that he is an impi (Traditional advisor) to Paramount Chief Gomani of Ntcheu.


He insisted that he was not contesting Chiwaya’s ruling but was only seeking clarity on the matter and agreed that through the involvement of the Legal Affairs Committee this can be changed.


Chiwaya then advised the Mwanza Central MP to go ahead and use the Committee to effect the necessary changes but Katsonga continued to protest the Second Deputy Speaker’s direction who was almost forced to invoke the necessary standing orders to remove him from the chamber.


This did not amuse Katsonga who openly told Chiwaya not to bother invoking the standing order on him as he proudly matched out of the house on his own.

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Mzimba West Parliamentarian Harry Mkandawire described Katsonga’s behavior as terribly out of order pointing out that he himself is a chief and more senior than the former Speaker but still respected and observes the recommended parliamentary dress code.


Following Katsonga’s departure from the House members reverted to question-time where Ministers addressed questions from various constituencies.

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