President Prof Peter Mutharika has appointed Kondwani Nankhumwa, Minister of Local government and Rural Development, as the new leader of the house in parliament.
His appointment follows the suspension of Dr. George Chaponda who has been implicated in the Zambia – Malawi maize scandal and now awaiting court judgement on Friday.
Making the announcement in Parliament Wednesday, Speaker Richard Msowaya said in exercise of his powers, the President appointed Nankhumwa as an interim leader since business could not be transacted without the leadership.
“I am pleased to inform the house that the president has appointed honourable Kondwani as interim leader of the house with immediate effect,” said Msowoya.
He congratulated Nankhumwa and request Members of Parliament to give him all the support.
Nankhumwa’s appointment was welcomed in the house with some members stating that the house will now have a clear direction.
Dr Uladi Mussa, Leader of People’s Party (PP) in the house said he was happy with the appointment saying Nankhumwa would provide directions to how business should be conducted in parliament.
“The absence of the leader of house in parliament would have led to lack of direction. Normally this leader guides the business on daily basis and for this reason it was therefore vital to have this position filled up,” Dr. Musa explained.
Despite that he had little expectations from the leadership, the PP Leader promised to work hand in hand with Nankhumwa.
“We will support him and work as one,” he said.
Wakuda Kamanga, Member of Parliament for Kasungu North East said due to complexity of house, it was important to have a leader.
“In anything, you have to have the leader, this helps to avoid chaos,” said Kamanga
In an interview, Nankhumwa said he was grateful to the president for his appointment as the leader of the house.
This, he said was a clear indication that the President trust and expects the best out of him.
“I will ensure fair debate and that members conduct themselves without restriction but they also have to behave responsibly,” he explained.
Nankhumwa has since promised to exercise his power diligently and conduct the business of the house to the expectation of each member.
On Monday, there was hot debate in parliament as to how the house would transact business without the leader of the house. Some members protested that debate be stopped until the position was filled in.
But Msowoya cooled down the MPs saying the matter would be looked into. (President appoints Nankhumwa as new Lead of the house, By Victoria Mkowe, Lilongwe, February 9, Mana)