Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera says President Peter Mutharika should stop responding to issues raised in Parliament outside the House and instead should respect the Constitution by taking questions from legislators in the National Assembly.
Chakwera, who is also leader of opposition in Parliament, spoke on Sunday at Chenjewazi Primary School ground in Lilongwe where he addressed a political rally after earlier attending a fundraising prayer service at Chenjewazi CCAP.
He said: “People should not be answering things said in Parliament outside of it. They should come to Parliament and debate national issues. We need explanations on how the budget is being implemented.”
Chakwera also faulted Mutharika administration of mismanaging the looming hunger crisis, alleging that while experts warned in advance about the adverse weather conditions, government ignored the warning.
He also noted that for five years, Parliament has approved funding for the Green Belt Initiative, but there is little to show for the investment.
In an interview later, Chakwera said his request for the President to answer questions in Parliament is based on the Constitution.
He said: “Constitutional provisions must be respected. There are some issues which do not need to be discussed on the podium, national issues which need no one threatening that I won’t respond to this or that.”
Earlier, Chakwera called for unity in MCP and said the party was preparing itself for victory in 2019 despite the agony of defeat in 2014 which he insisted was under questionable circumstances.
In March this year, Mutharika refused to appear before Parliament to answer four questions from MPs and instead delegated Cabinet ministers.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu backed the President’s position, saying delegation of the role was within the law. n