Member of Parliament for Blantyre City South Noel Lipipa has faulted his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) colleagues for organizing polls to elect leader of opposition of the August House after the party’s president Peter Mutharika made changes on the positions.
On Wednesday, DPP’s Central Governing Committee resolved of removing Kondwani Nankhumwa as leader of opposition following accusations leveled against him on how he attained the seat.
The decision by Mutharika to replace Nankhumwa with Francs Kasaila as leader of opposition, led to divisions in the party as majority of the Members of Parliament rallied behind Nankhumwa.
Yesterday, the party’s Secretary General, Grezelder Jeffrey chaired a meeting to elect the leader of opposition of the house which saw Nankhumwa emerging victorious with 34 votes against Kasaila who got 4 votes and Bright Msaka with 1 vote.
Writing on his Facebook page while quoting Parliamentary Standing orders, Lipipa said as leaders of the people are encouraged to follow the law, because the law is the law even though its harsh but it’s the law.
“This morning I chose not to participate in the so called “Election” of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Leader of Opposition in Parliament, for the very simple reason,” he said.
Lipipa added; “The Parliamentary Standing Order 35 (1) reads ‘the leader of opposition shall be elected by the party not in government having the greatest numerical strength in parliament at any point in time and officially announced as such by the speaker.”
“Parliamentary Standing Order 36 reads ‘the leader of opposition may only be removed by the party that elected him or her.”
He therefore defended former president Mutharika’s decision saying it is legit and the authority to temporarily to appoint Kasaila is in order.
“As such, the ‘Party’ is not the 47 MPs who purportedly participated in a Comedy of Errors. The Party is structured and Prof. Peter Mutharika remains the president of our party, therefore, the authority to temporarily appoint Hon, Kasaila is in order,” Lipipa said.
He further added; “I may consider writing the Attorney General for an opinion.”
“The presiding speaker yesterday, should have consulted on the precedence and repercussions of using wrong standing orders; I cannot and will not be party to such miscarriage,”
Nankhumwa is accused of imposing himself as leader of opposition in the house yet Mutharika opted for George Chaponda to lead the house and made Nankhumwa chief whip.