Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya has described the just-ended 45th session of the House as mature, saying members realised that their role is to serve Malawians.
The House rose on Friday after passing some bills, electing the Speaker, his deputies and members of various parliamentary committees. Parties appointed people into various parliamentary leadership positions such as leader of the House, leader of opposition, leaders for each party represented and chief whips.
“As a new Speaker, I had the support from all members of Parliament,” said Msowoya, a member of opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) national executive committee.
The passing of the K1.2 billion International Development Association Bill on Friday, which seeks to strengthen the Safety Nets Systems Project under Masaf Four, now means that five bills have been passed since Parliament convened three weeks ago.
Bill number five of 2014, on Skills Development Education, was first rejected during the second reading and it took negotiations between government and opposition sides to agree to reintroduce the bill, hence its tabling in line with Standing Order 82.
Leader of the House Francis Kasaila described the sitting as fruitful “but full of confusion for new members of Parliament”.
He said new members needed orientation as some were standing on point of orders during contribution on bills.
“There was a mutual understanding between government and the opposition which led to passing of all the five bills that came before the House,” said Kasaila.
MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, who is also leader of opposition, also hailed the sitting.
“The journey has begun and we believe we will deliver,” said Chakwera.
Meanwhile, MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila, who is also Member of Parliament for Salima Northwest Constituency, was Friday elected new chairperson for Women Caucus in Parliament. She will be deputised by former chair Cecilia Chazama.
Kabwila is a known vocal gender activist and she has already attracted the wrath of the Speaker following her altercations with another firebrand female politician, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of women and Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati.