Business in Parliament was nearly derailed on Wednesday after MCP chief whip Joseph Njobvuyalema challenged Minister of Energy and Mining Cassim Chilumpha to stop commenting on every issue on the floor.
Njobvuyalema, MP for Lilongwe Mapuyu South Constituency, further claimed that Chilumphaâ€™s conduct at times did not go down well with his fellow Cabinet ministers.
The MCP legislator also alleged that Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga complained to him in private that Chilumphaâ€™s remarks were sometimes not in line with a concerned ministryâ€™s policy.
But Lipenga distanced himself from the alleged reference and demanded that Njobvuyalema either substantiates the claims or apologises to him.
Following a bitter exchange of words and after First Deputy Speaker Jones Chingola called for an emergency meeting involving the trio, Njobvuyalema was forced to withdraw the statement about Lipenga, but did not withdraw his accusations against Chilumpha.
Njobvuyalema said he made the withdrawal after agreeing that the House needed decorum and fruitful deliberations which cannot be achieved if members continue â€œcalling each other names and shouting at each other.â€
But the withdrawal still did not amuse Chilumpha.
â€œI find it unfortunate that the Honourable Member, who is also MCP chief whip, decided that he only withdraws the remarks on the Minister of Finance,â€ he said.
Drama started as MCP spokesperson on health Alex Chitete was responding to Lipenga on a Loan Authorisation Bill in which government wants to borrow $8 million (about K2.6 billion) for Phase Two of the Nkhata Bay District Hospital which is currently under construction.
Chilumpha irked Njobvuyalema when, standing on a point of order, started quashing Chiteteâ€™s contribution.
Later, the House approved the Loan Authorisation Bill.