Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya has warned visitors against disrupting business in Parliament by silently following proceedings in the House.
The Speaker issued the warning yesterday before granting leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera the floor to respond to the State of the Nation Address (Sona) President Peter Mutharika delivered in Parliament on Friday.
Msowoya said he had noted with concern that some political party officials in the visitors’ gallery of the National Assembly were causing havoc in the House.
He said: “Let me emphasise today that I don’t want anything similar to what happened last Friday to happen today. You are free to go out if you know that you are here to disturb. Let us listen to the leader of opposition in silence.”
The President’s Sona was interrupted twice as the Speaker desperately attempted to bring order in the House following a scuffle between police and governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets in the House.
Heckling between opposition and government side legislators sparked the ugly scenes as DPP members of Parliament (MPs) and those in the opposition traded barbs after Mutharika’s claim that there was evidence that his administration had made gains in fighting corruption since assuming power in May 2014.
In unprecedented scenes during delivery of Sona, the DPP cadets, apparently wanting to outdo the opposition legislators, drowned out the President’s voice as he made the address.
The ugly scenes prompted the Speaker to order the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw out the DPP cadets who were conspicuously the most defiant.
The cadets defied the Seargeant-at-Arms and police officers who helped him, forcing the police to use force in evicting some of them.