Balaka South Member of Parliament (MP) George Nnensa has accused government of deliberately ignoring him at a ‘development’ rally Malawi President Joyce Banda addressed in his constituency on Monday.
Nnensa said he was invited by Balaka district commissioner Smart Gwedemula and was assured that he was one of the speakers at the rally as legislator of the area.
He said: “I was told the function was going to start at noon, but the President arrived around 10am and I only made it at the rally when speeches had started. Surprisingly, not even a single speaker recognised me.
“I spoke to the President when she was leaving the venue and she told me she didn’t know I was in attendance. I believe there was a deliberate plan not to give me the platform to talk to my constituents.”
The MP said he was reliably informed by insiders in government that there was a silent policy government has introduced to prevent opposition MPs from speaking at such rallies addressed by the President because in most cases, opposition legislators have been stealing the show.
David Kalilombe, an officer in the protocol committee from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), said Nnensa did not confirm his attendance and they saw him late at the function.
Kalilombe, while stating that he was not a spokesperson for his ministry, dismissed claims that there is a policy to sideline opposition MPs, arguing MPs and traditional authorities (T/As) are always given a chance.
But Nnensa said if government thinks of sidelining the opposition MPs, it should realise that is counterproductive because MPs have a wider forum, Parliament, where they may raise all issues they have.