The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) through its leader Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has refused to respond to President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered in Parliament on Friday last week.

According to norms of the August House, when the President delivers a SONA in the Chamber the first person to give his response to the address is leader of opposition in the National Assembly who happens to be Chakwera of MCP.

But when Parliament resumed for deliberation on Monday afternoon MCP was yet to submit the name of its leader in the house.

This was disclosed during the announcement by the newly-elected Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara.

The development left the Speaker with no option but to grant the floor to United Democratic Front (UDF) leader in the House Lilian Patel to respond to the SONA.

But before Patel took a floor, MCP Chief Whip Lobin Lowe in the House stood on point of order saying the party does not recognize President Mutharika as President of the republic of Malawi hence not responding to the SONA.

He went further by saying DPP is in power today because tipp-ex playing a role.

The past weekend Chakwera also refused to comment on Moutharika’s SONA when reporters asked for his input, saying President Mutharika is not the legitimate President of Malawi.

Chakwera hinted that Malawi has no President at the moment.

More details to follow…

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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