Speaker of Parliament has had enough of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) squabbles and drama. Today, in no uncertain terms she has admonished the party, telling it’s leadership to stop disrupting parliamentary business.
There is order after chaos, so they say, but the same cannot be said about the fallout in the DPP. The leadership wrangles in the party have gone on for far too long and there seems no end in sight anytime soon. Now it appears that parliament has become the battle ground with the Leader of Opposition position being the bone of contention with the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara and the courts acting arbitrators.
Wednesday was another eventful day in the drama-filled Blue Party as the controversy surrounding the Whip of the party reached fever pitch and brought the proceedings of the business committee of Parliament to a stand still. This was after two DPP MPs who are tussling to the position of the Whip in the party emerged to attend the meeting. Julius Chione Mwase who was appointed Kondwani Nankhumwa was seen franked by his “boss” heading into the business committee, at the same time, Symon Vuwa Kaunda who was appointed by fellow parliamentarians loyal Mutharika also went to attend the function.
The daggers were drawn as the Speaker was caught in the mix and she had to delay the commencement of the meeting to seek legal opinion on how to proceed with the meeting.
Gotani Hara was then advised by the Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda to settle for Nankhumwa’s appointment based on the interpretation of the court order which reinstated him (Nankhumwa) as the Leader of Opposition. This led to a horror of shame as it led to the expulsion of Kaunda while Mwase was recognized as the Whip.
But it appears the Speaker of Parliament has seen enough of DPP’ s drama and wants an end to this once and for all as she unreservedly said that the wrangles happening in the party have been affecting business in Parliament.
She said: “There is nothing we can do as Parliament because this rift is an internal matter. But honestly, it is derailing our business. We should have started in the morning, but ended up meeting hours later because we wanted this resolved. We hope the party will put its house in order to avoid such disruption of business.”
The Speaker has all the reasons to get worried because of the bizarre incidents that happened prior to this business committee meeting.
On Tuesday, her office through the Clerk of Parliament wrote a letter acknowledging the appointment of George Chaponda and invited him to the meeting only things to change on Wednesday after members of parliament backing Nankhumwa obtained a court injuction restraining Chaponda from becoming Leader of Opposition. The Clerk had to write another letter acknowledging Nankhumwa as the Leader of opposition.
As was Nankhumwa was making some political gains in Parliament, his position was losing ground outside Parliament as three out of the 22 parliamentarians who appeared on the list which obtained an injuction objecting the election of Chaponda disowned the list by claiming that there were not consulted.
The parliamentarians have since asked Nankhumwa to remove their names on the list. By Thursday the number had grown to four. The four parliamentarians are Noel Lipipa of Blantyre of City South, Namachekecha of Phalombe North East, Dr William Susuwele Banda of Zomba Lisanjala, Mavuto Scot of Thyolo Thekerani.
The DPP has become confused, dramatic, chaotic and directionless. This is not a good sign for a party likely to rise from ashes. The party is towards extinction.