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Msowoya warns MPs on language as he rules Chakwera’s remarks disrespectful

Written by  Gladys Nthenda

Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya has cautioned members to desist from using unparliamentary language as standing orders bar members from such practices.

Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya

Msowoya was reacting to a point of order raised by Government Chief Whip Henry Mussa who sought the Speaker’s direction following Leader of Opposition Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s reaction to President Peter Mutharika’s statement.

Mussa was not amused with Chakwera’s remarks which said “We Malawians are in an enviable position of having a President so incompetent so insensitive” and “This government is the most corrupt and untruthful in recent memory” in response to Mutharika’s address.

This according to the Government’s Chief Whip was disrespectful to the State President and in contravention to Standing Order 97.

Msowoya noted that the remarks become disrespectful if they contain words which reflect on the President personally or impute an improper motive on him by ascribing another reason to the President’s action other than the one officially communicated to him or his government.

He stated that the response by the Leader of Opposition was disrespectful to the Malawi Leader.

“Such statement alone particularly the first part could be considered as referring to the State President disrespectfully because the statement seems to suggest that the President is incompetent or insensitive” ruled Msowoya.

He schooled legislators against using language which he described as unparliamentary and reflecting badly on the country’s leadership.

Msowoya directed that the words be struck off the Hansard of Monday; the day Chakwera made his response.

He then fired a warning shot to parliamentarians against use of insulting words which demean others especially the Head of State.

“The cardinal rule on the issue is that personal reflections on the President are not permissible in this House”

He advised them to be exemplary in the way they speak to each other and demonstrate to the people they represent their love and respect towards one another.

Meanwhile Mzimba Hora’s Christopher Mzomera Ngwira and Chikwawa Central’s Gaffar Issa have defected to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Msowoya has allocated seats to them in government benches.

Before adjournment Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa announced that members will continue debating on the motion of the President’s address on Monday next week.

On Tuesday parliamentarians will have question time and Political Parties Bill and HIV AIDS prevention management on the menu.

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