• September 29, 2022 8:11 pm

Parliament exonerates executive arm of Government on Baroda Bill 

Jan 17, 2022

By Malawi Exclusive

Speaker of National Assembly Hon Madam Gotani Hara has substantially vindicated the Executive through Pastor Martin Thom who served as the Presidential Special Aide until he was arrested in an alleged  Bill smuggling Saga.

It were suspected  the intent was to fasttrack the process of  tabling , discussing and passing of the bill to allow Goverment of Malawi through the Ministry of Homeland Security  to borrow K93 Billion from Baroda Bank based in India for the construction of 10,000 residential houses for our respective security agencies.

Pastor Martin Thom and few others were arrested and charged for authoring the bill currently are on bail and fired from duty. 
Few weeks ago,it was made clear and emphasized in the chambers that nothing was amiss and no foul play took place. The bill entered into the parliament under normal and approved protocols, due diligence was followed. 

Through the hansard(parliament records)   the Speaker assured the honourable members there was no any case of bill smuggling  at Parliament. Last week Zodiak Radio interviewed the Finance Committe of Parliament who retaliated Madam Speaker’s point that nobody smuggled the bill and that every process was well followed. 

Speaker Hara said; “all processes were followed on the bill. 

Parliament did not flout any procedure in handling Bill No. 22 of 2021: Bank of Baroda (Construction of Residential Houses under the National Housing Project (Various Security Institutions) Loan (Authorisation).

However, in order to improve on the current procedures for handling bills in Parliament, it has been agreed that the Legal Affairs Committee should, as a matter of urgency, meet and propose a review of Standing Orders 126 and 46(1), respectively.” 

She went further to highlight  that all procedures were fully examined and there was no any single procedure which was broken.

“The Business Committee also examined the current procedure of handling public bills in Parliament following the incident that happened with Bill No. 22 of 2021: Bank of Baroda (Construction of Residential Houses under the National Housing Project (Various Security Institutions) Loan (Authorisation).

I wish to inform the House that the Business Committee resolved that, from now onwards, the 28-days’ notice on bills should be strictly followed and that waivers on the rule should not be entertained.

(Applause) Exceptions may be granted only when a written request is made to my ofce giving justifable reasons for the waiver. In addition, the Business Committee agreed that the motion to waive the 28-day rule may only be allowed for money bills for a minimum of at least seven days’ notice.

It should be, however, noted that Parliament did not flout any procedure in handling Bill No. 22 of 2021: Bank of Baroda (Construction of Residential Houses under the National Housing Project (Various Security Institutions) Loan (Authorisation). However, in order to improve on the current procedures for handling bills in Parliament, it has been agreed that the Legal Afairs Committee should, as a matter of urgency, meet and propose a review of Standing Orders 126 and 46(1), respectively.”

The Parliament of Malawi has arleady communicated to all relevant law governing authorities handling the case to dismiss all charges against Pastor Martin Thom and few others. 

Though Pastor Thom refused to comment on the matter, his lawyer James Ayuba stated that he already knew that his client was not wrong and that the matter was politically motivated by few disgruntled individuals who felt threatened by Thom’s close relationship with the President. 

Ayuba further stated that he is soon to take another legal step on the matter. 

 Asked why the Police arrested the concerned individuals, reliable top source at Police stated that Police found no wrong doing on the arrested individuals but was only used by politicians to victimise their opponents. Our source revealed that a report exonerating Pastor Thom and colleague was already sent to the Director of Public Proscution three months ago. 

Counsel James further commended President Chakwera for not firing Msukwa as others are demanding. 

“I acknowledge the need for transparency and accountability in collaboration with the respect of the rule of law. It is in good faith i applaud His Excellency Dr Lazarus Chakwera for not dismissing Hon Kezzie Msukwa as the responsible minister of Lands,Housing and Urban Development for been implicated in allegations of abuse of office until thorough investigation are completed to significantly prove if his innocent or guilty. I see this reasoning as neat and good quality of leadership.” Said Ayuba.  

Hon Ken Kandodo was later proved to be innocent. Him too deserve to be reinstated in the cabinet. 

As a matter of analysis currently,there are on-going court  case involving Alliance For Democracy President Enoch Chihana, Hon Newton Kambala and Mr Chris Chaima Banda who are suspected to  have attempted to influence the awardment of fuel contract  at Nocma.

Whatever the outcome maybe or once found innocent let them too be accorded their respective responsibilities. 

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