Controversial Thyolo Thava Member of Parliament Wilfred Nawena (Independent) has joined Malawi’s former ruling DPP and has since asked Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda to allocate him a seat for him in the opposition benches.
Chimunthu Banda made the announcement about Nawena’s switch in a special announcement as the House was breaking for lunch on Tuesday.
“I have just received a letter from MP for Thyolo Thava who has declared that he has joined the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] and wants me to allocate him a seat within the opposition benches,” said the Speaker.
Nawena’s departure from the government side follows that of three other Parliamentarians who on Monday also wrote the Speaker to give them seats in the opposition benches after joining the DPP.
The three legislators are former Minister of Tourism in the first PP Cabinet Daniel Liwimbi, Chikhwawa North’s Grain Malunga, who was also Energy minister during the DPP government, and Blantyre West MP Wells Gama.
The development means the numbers on the government side are shrinking following mass departure of the UDF members to join the opposition benches since Friday. As of Friday, when President Joyce Banda opened the meeting, the government side had almost 80 seats against the opposition’s 110.
Nawena came into Parliament as an Independent operating on the government side, but later joined the DPP, although he was always critical of former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration.
At the peak of the DPP’s government, he was one of the MPs who fell out of grace with the then ruling party and had been one of the sympathisers of the then Vice-President Joyce Banda. After the change of government, Nawena remained on the government side with the new ruling PP.