By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
Controversial Member of Parliament for Mzimba North Yeremiah Chihana on Tuesday, November 22,2022 faced another slap from the office of the Speaker of the National Assembly following his failure to unconditionally withdraw insinuation that 30 billion kwacha meant for buying fertilizer in the Affordable Inputs Program (AIP) for 2022/23 farming season was stolen.
Last week, Chihana who is AFORD Member of Parliament made in the August House allegation that K30 billion was stolen and was ordered to take to the office of the Speaker evidence over the matter, which on Tuesday he claimed to have submitted, prompting the Leader of the house, Richard Chimwendo Banda to ask the Second Deputy Speaker to pronounce herself on the matter.
“I am standing this afternoon Madam because this is the house of records, and it’s said the house of records and traditions. What was communicated late in the morning before we went for lunch break is that the Honorable Member for Mzimba North has given information regarding the 30 billion kwacha insinuation that he made in the house.
I therefore wanted you to pronounce yourself on the same, because the social media out there is actually writing that now Mzimba North has given the evidence. So we are also eagerly waiting for your direction about the evidence.” Said Chimwendo Banda.
In her response, Second Deputy Speaker, Aisha Mambo Adam told the house that at the time the matter was being presented on the floor, she had no information, a communication which did not please the government side, prompting to request for 20 minutes suspension of the house until the information is brought before the house.
When the house resumed after the suspension, the Second Deputy Speaker confirmed to the house having received the evidence from Mzimba North Parliamentarian.
“After looking at the evidence, here is my ruling; Honorable Members, I wish to advise that indeed the Honorable Member for Mzimba North brought to my office, the office of the Speaker, some photocopied documents which have been shared with the leadership of this house as evidence.
Having gone through the documents which the Member brought as evidence do not in anyway indicate that 30 billion kwacha has disappeared or stolen. The documents in question speak to K750 million which was paid for the procurement of fertilizer which the joint Committee on the Affordable Inputs Program is currently investigating.
The documents which Mzimba North has submitted have been extracted from a submission by Ecobank to the joint Committee of the equivalent 750 million kwacha to would-be fertilizer suppliers. In view of the forgoing, my office rejects the documents submitted by Mzimba North as evidence to support his allegation that 30 Billion Malawi Kwacha was stolen.” Read part of the ruling by the Second Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, while adding that the statement by Chihana was sessentional, and unparliamentary that can damage the dignity of the house and integrity of the Members.
Chihana was then suspended until Thursday morning, before handing him an increased suspension to Monday, November 28,2022 following his untolerated behavior when he was slapped in the face with the first disciplinary suspension.