Dedza East member of Parliament (MP) Juliana Lunguzi (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) on Friday took on Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi, accusing him of embarking on a campaign to demonise her.
Lunguzi said she believes Muluzi is against her for criticising government over the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme, popularly known as Cement and Malata (iron sheets) subsidy.
The MP and the minister first crossed paths on Thursday in the House after Lunguzi raised concerns about the economic cost and benefits of the initiative, the brainchild of the Peter Mutharika administration.
But Muluzi defended the programme and during a Parliament break, he granted media interviews in which he allegedly singled out Lunguzi as the only voice opposing the programme in the House
Rising on a point of order immediately after the House reconvened on Friday morning, Lunguzi said she was dismayed that the minister had taken the issue personally.
She said: “Mr Speaker Sir, the honourable minister is busy going around in the media telling people that all 192 MPs are supportive of the cement subsidy except Dedza East. It is unacceptable and misleading.”
Lunguzi said government was seeking to turn the constituents of Dedza East against their MP by insinuating that the MP does not care about their housing woes.
Muluzi, who was in the House at the time, ignored the MP on the matter, but several MCP MPs supported Lunguzi.
Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya, who is also MCP vice-president, curtailed debate on the matter and urged the House to concentrate on serious issues.n