President Lazarus Chakwera returns to Parliament today to answer questions from members of Parliament (MPs) in his second appearance since he took office.
He first appeared in the House for question time on September 10— the first time a Malawi president had honoured the constitutional requirement since the country’s second president in the democratic dispensation, Bakili Muluzi, did the same in the early days of his administration.
Parliament spokesperson Ian Mwenye in an interview said the President will take his seat at 2pm, to be followed by the Speaker’s procession which will enter the House before the Question and Answer session begins.
He said: “The President will appear in the House as required by the Constitution and under parliamentary Standing Order 70 (A). It will be a very normal process, the Speaker will announce it’s time for
questions to the President and the questions have already been submitted to the Speaker.”
Mwenye added that nine questions have been submitted to the President through the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara and will be followed by supplementary questions.
Among the questions from a list The Nation has seen, Chakwera will be asked about his government’s foreign policy by Zomba Chisi MP Mark Botomani in relation to the decision to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.
The President will further be asked by Nkhotakota North East MP on why his administration has recalled from retirement former public servants, which seems to be contrary to the philosophy to employ more youths.
The same MP will also ask Chakwera when the administration will implement the proposed duty-free week and reduction of passport application processing fees to K14 000 as pledged during the Tonse Alliance campaign.
Zomba Lisanjala will also ask the President on what he is doing to avoid electoral related violence in 2025 which he said is already marring current by-elections while Zomba Central will ask the President about government’s plans to avert economic challenges for the public when the
Headquarters is moved to Lilongwe from Blantyre. Immigration Deapartment
State House Press Secretary Brian Banda in a separate interview reiterated that Chakwera was committed to the rule of law; hence, will continue the practice.
He said: “His Excellency the State President Dr Lazarus Chakwera will continue going to Parliament to answer questions from members of Parliament because he is required to appear in Parliament by law.
“He will be in Parliament tomorrow because he believes in the importance of performing this duty not only as a matter of principle to fulfill a promise he made to Malawians but also as a matter of law to fulfill the requirements of the Constitution.”
When Chakwera appeared in Parliament last month, among others, he was asked several questions on the contentious risk allowances for teachers in public schools, planned construction of official residences for MPs, the country’s plans to open a new embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, gender, fertiliser subsidy programme, fight against corruption, environment, economic growth projections, among others.
Analysts then hailed the sixth President of the Republic, who then was accompanied by his deputy, Saulos Chilima, for ably responding to the questions