Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda, has once again been replaced as Leader of the House by his hitherto deputy, Kondwani Nankhumwa, who will hold the position in an interim capacity.
Chaponda was initially removed as Leader of the House following an injunction by some civil society organisations (CSOs) which restrained him from undertaking any act in a ministerial capacity.
However, after the Supreme Court dismissed the injunction, Chaponda was re-instated in the position, a thing which sparked confusion in Parliament on Monday.
The opposition, led by its leader, Lazarus Chakwera, opposed the reinstatement of Chaponda on the grounds that a Commission of Inquiry instituted by President Peter Mutharika had recommended that Chaponda should be investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in relation to the procurement of maize from Zambia.
In her communication to the House yesterday, First Deputy Speaker, Esther Mcheka- Chilenje, announced that Nankhumwa was replacing Chaponda again.
“Honourable Members, you will recall that yesterday the Speaker adjourned the House early so that the issue of Leader of the House should be resolved… I wish to inform the House that the Office of the Speaker has received communication that [Nankhumwa] will be Leader of the House in an interim capacity until further notice,” Mcheka- Chilenje said.
Nankhumwa’s return as Leader of the House excited the opposition side which applauded the First Deputy Speaker’s announcement.
At one point, former Vice-President, Khumbo Kachali, praised Nankhumwa for being “a youthful minister whose fruits are already being seen”.