Mzimba North legislator Yeremiah Chihana (Alliance for Democracy-Aford) stirred fresh controversy in Parliament when he hit at Secretary to the President Zangazanga Chikhosi, accusing him of misleading President Lazarus Chakwera.
In a supplementary question to Vice-President Saulos Chilima as Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms yesterday, the legislator demanded that the public sector reforms should revert to the Office of the President if they are to achieve desirable results, saying Chikhosi was frustrating Chilima.
While stating that he was not against Chilima, he said the Vice-President was “underperforming” because of the nature of the office which is mostly delegated. Chihana said Chikhosi should be removed for, among other things, firing principal secretaries allegedly without following procedures.
“He is affecting operations of the civil service. He should be fired,” he said.
“The Vice-President is only assigned and has got delegated powers which cannot yield much needed reforms unless they are in the Office of the President and headed by the Secretary to the President and Cabinet.”
Interventions from First Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo and other legislators failed to stop the visibly charged Chihana who was on the offensive.
Kazombo later ordered Chihana to leave the chamber, an order the legislator refused to comply with at first. However, he was later seen walking out and in defiance of Covid-19 precautions as he shook hands with fellow members of Parliament (MPs), mostly from the opposition side.
Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda, who is also Minister of Homeland Security, condemned Chihana for insinuating that the Vice-President was underperfoming.
He apologised to Chilima for the chaos that ensued in his presence and defended the Vice-President, saying he is a performer and has proved that.
Chimwendo Banda also commended the Vice- President for making himself available for questions in his capacity as Cabinet minister.
On his part, Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa also condemned the chaos that occurred in the presence of the Vice-President.
The Public Sector Reforms were reintroduced during the Democratic Progressive Party reign under Peter Mutharika in 2014