United Democratic Front (UDF) has advised Parliament to respect the party’s decision to nominate Machinga East legislator Esther Jolobala to serve in the Parliamentary Service Commission.
In an interview yesterday, UDF interim spokesperson Yusuf Mwawa said the party wants Parliament to consider accommodating Jolobala as a commissioner.
He said: “The House opted for honourable Lilian Patel [Mangochi South legislator]. However, the party has written another letter to the National Assembly to reconsider their position and have honourable Jolobala serve in the commission.”
Mwawa also clarified that Patel was not fired as leader of UDF in Parliament, saying she personally stated that she would not take up the position; hence, the party settled for Zomba Ntonya legislator Ned Poya as UDF leader in Parliament.
There was chaos in Parliament last week when members of Parliament (MPs) on the government side rejected UDF’s choice of Jolobala to replace Patel in the commission, arguing Patel served well during her one-year tenure.
Opposition MPs walked out of Parliament in protest of governments’ decisions, accusing them of interfering in opposition affairs.
In an interview, Poya said the issue was being handled by the UDF national executive committee and that following the rejection of Jolobala by government MPs, Patel remained a commissioner.
Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda said the issue will be discussed in Parliament to find a way forward.
The Parliamentary Service Commission oversees operations of Parliament, including providing checks.