Experts ask Nankhumwa to withdraw remarks against Speaker

Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara

Following Kondwani Nankhumwa’s accusations of Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani-Hara’s glaring bias against the government side during the house's debates, commentators have chided the Leader of the House for his remarks.

A political analyst says Nankhumwa has overstepped his mark by schooling Speaker of the National Assembly and views it as character assassination on the head of the legislature.

Andrew Mpesi also faulted him for leaking the letter noting that he was supposed to present his concerns to the Business Committee where he is an important member and  Gotani-Hara is the chair.

He described it as an attempt by the Leader of the House to intimidate the Speaker.

In his assessment, the conduct is unbecoming as it infringes on her performance outside Parliament with Nankhumwa being a member of the committee.

Mpesi: Described Nankhumwa's conduct as unbecoming and an attempt to intimidate Speaker

“If he saw that the Speaker’s way of conducting business is not in line with the way he wanted, he had the right to move a motion in the chamber censuring the Speaker,” he noted.

The analyst pointed out that since independence, there has been a notion that Speaker of the House should be neutral.

According to him, as head of the Legislature, the occupant is elected and sponsored by a political party and is therefore a political person with Parliament being a political theatre.

“The house is a political theatre and the Speaker shouldn’t be muzzled by the ruling party,” he addeed.

Mpesi further dismissed the assertions as remote thinking with baseless understanding.

Going forward, he suggested that the letter be withdrawn as it borders on the Speaker’s character and must be discussed within the business committee.

Social commentator Humphreys Mvula observed that the Leader of the House and the business committee meet regularly hence he should have gone to express his misgivings to Gotani.

Mvula: He must apologise for the sake of their relationship

He faulted both the approach taken and the content of the letter as wrong as most of the things and moves the Speaker makes have the blessings of the committee.

Mvula indicated that the approach undermines her leadership and may affect their relationship as it might result in her choosing a hard line on him.

He is of the view that Nankhumwa must apologize for him to enjoy his term as Leader of the house and could later on express his misgivings.

“That’s not the way to handle things.

“He must apologise to sustain their relationship; a new way of straightening things otherwise he might be seen as undermining her powers,” suggested Mvula.

Chancellor College based Ernest Thindwa stated that Malawi politics is very confrontational and it is not surprising that Speakers tend to toe partisan line on key issues.

Thindwa: Speakers tend to toe partisan line on important issues

He casted doubt if the development will have any impact on their relationship.

On Monday evening through a statement Nankhumwa accused the Speaker for what he branded as her acute pandering to narrow political interests and plain disregard of parliamentary ground rules.

He also cited her refusal to extend time on Friday last week, to allow the house to discuss a motion on the confirmation of Inspector General Designate Duncan Mwapasa.