Three new members of Parliament (MPs), all affiliated to the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), were sworn in yesterday during a function that saw police officers blocking MCP supporters from entering Parliament Building premises.
The MPs are Sosten Gwengwe (Lilongwe Msozi North), Ulemu Msungama (Lilongwe City South East) and Lawrence Sitolo (Nsanje Lalanje). They arrived at Parliament Building aboard an opened-topped Axa double-deck shuttle which they rode from Bunda Turn-Off passing through Lilongwe City en route to Parliament.
The procession was at a standstill for over 30 minutes as MCP legislators, notably Richard Chimwendo Banda and Khumbize Chiponda, negotiated for the entry of the supporters clad in MCP colours.
The police later allowed the three legislators entry, but vehemently denied the supporters entry.
Inside the Parliament chamber, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, who administered the oaths, reminded the new legislators to uphold the rule of law and protect the Constitution.
In an interview later, MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said his party was surprised by the conduct of Malawi Police Service in barring its supporters from entry. He said their conduct was suspicious.
The new MPs won the by-elections held on October 17 where MCP took three parliamentary seats and two wards while the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) got a ward in Mayani North in Dedza.
Parliament opens this morning for the first meeting of the 47th Session. President Peter Mutharika is scheduled to open. n