Parliament yesterday adjourned without transacting any business scheduled for the day after power provided by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) went off before the sitting even got underway while stand-by generators also got damaged.
Power only returned over two hours later but by then, the lawmakers had already left the Parliament building.
Assistant Clerk of Parliament for Protocol and Public Relations, Leonard Mengezi, said the reported technical problem that had been registered at Nkula Hydroelectric Power Station also affected the genset at the Parliament building.
According to Mengezi, while there is an agreement with Escom that they should not switch off power at Parliament, yesterday’s problem was beyond everyone’s control.
“The problem that is with our generator is that it is a big one. It could not have been rectified within a short period. Currently, we are working on replacing it,” Mengezi said.
“Some of the bills that were supposed to be discussed today [yesterday] may not be discussed tomorrow [today] because tomorrow [today] is Private Members Day,” Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP for Kasungu Central, Amon Nkhata, said.
Leader of the House, Kondwani Nankhumwa, said today Parliament will continue with its business as he had been informed that even if the problem at Nkula recurs, officials at the National Assembly were running up and down to find a reliable alternative.
He also dismissed allegations that the problem might have been deliberately created so that government ‘fails’ to have time to table the Electoral Reforms Amendment Bills.
According to yesterday’s Order Paper, Parliament was supposed to transact several businesses including ‘a matter of urgent public importance’ through which MP for Dowa West, Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi, was supposed to enquire from Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Samuel Tembenu, reasons for the delays in tabling the Electoral Reforms Amendment Bills.