The High Court in Blantyre yesterday granted an injunction stopping a move by Rumphi East legislator Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) to move a motion to have Parliament’s two deputy speakers suspended.
In his motion, Kalua wanted First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka-Chilenje and Second Deputy Speaker Clement Chiwaya suspended from their positions on grounds that the duo were involved in swindling money at Parliament through dubious housing allowance claims.
But the two, through private practice lawyer Frank Mbeta, rushed to the High Court in Blantyre where Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda issued the injunction pending a judicial review of the matter.
Court documents The Nation has seen show that the two argued that the National Assembly has no powers to suspend them and that they can only be removed through impeachment proceedings.
Kalua’s private motion alleged that Mcheka –Chilenje and Chiwaya swindled Parliament money through dubious claims since their election to the high offices.
The legislator argued in the motion that the matter had brought their offices into disrepute and it is a retrogressive step in the fight against corruption in the light of Cashgate—the plunder of public funds at Capital Hill—exposed during the PP administration in September 2013.
Following revelations by our sister newspaper, Weekend Nation, that the two deputy speakers were wrongly claiming rentals for their own houses instead of housing allowance, Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) ordered that they no longer get rentals.
PSC also said it referred the issue to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).