The written speech which Malawi’s Leader of Opposition John Tembo failed to deliver in response to President Joyce Banda’s opening speech caused uproar in Parliament last week after the government side queried why some opposition parliamentarians referred to it in their remarks.
Leader of the House Henry Phoya wondered why some MPs were referring to Tembo’s abandoned speech instead of the actual remarks, which the opposition leader uttered in the House, arguing the delivered remarks are the ones which were part of the parliamentary records.
But Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda intervened and clarified that the written speech, which Tembo failed to deliver in Parliament, was also part of the House’s Hansard.
“Honourable members, I also noted that what the Leader of Opposition said in his response to the President’s opening speech, much of it was not related to what was in his written speech.
“I asked him whether he wanted his written speech to be circulated to members in the House and he said yes. Therefore, on that basis, honourable members can make reference to the Leader of Opposition’s speech because it’s part of our records,” said Chimunthu Banda.
After abandoning his written speech, Tembo lashed out at some Cabinet ministers who were in former Bingu wa Mutharika administration and accused them of misleading Banda.
In his abandoned speech, Tembo criticised Banda’s administration, wondering whether it appreciates economic hardships Malawians are facing.