Chaos and drama in Parliament  as two opposition leaders rose to speak

By Kondanani Chilimunthaka

There was drama and chaos in the August House on Monday 12th February 2024, a few minutes after it resumed its business as two Parliamentarians stood to confirm on the announcements made by the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara on what the Business Committee agreed during its meeting on Wednesday last week.

Soon after making a few announcements in the Chamber, Gotani Hara asked the leadership of the House to confirm, starting with the Leader of the House, Richard Chimwendo Banda. But things turned into a drama when the Speaker requested the Leader of Opposition to make a confirmation on the announcements, as two Parliamentarians; Kondwani Nankhumwa (Mulanje Central) and Mary Navitcha (Thyolo Thava) stood at once to do similar assignment on behalf of the opposition parties in Parliament.

Considering the directive by the Court on the issue, the Speaker of Parliament recognized Nankhumwa as the appropriate Leader of Opposition, adding that he is the one who attended the business committee meeting as LOP, the ruling that did not go down well with DPP MPs who stood in support of Navitcha.

“Whilst acknowledging that the process that was conducted was right, but my hands are tied because of the Court injunction. So I still recognize Honorable Nankhumwa as the Leader of Opposition” ruled the Speaker while requesting Thyolo Thava to resume her seat.

Few minutes later the House was suspended as the two sides of Kondwani Nankhumwa and DPP failed to come to terms on the matter.