Lilongwe — Dowa East Parliamentarian, Richard Chimwendo Banda has been appointed as the Leader of the House in Parliament in one of the many changes announced by Speaker, Catherine Gotani Hara, following the election of Dr. Lazarus Chakwera as the country's 6th President.
Sitting for the first time since last Tuesday's fresh election, unfamiliar sights were always expected in the National Assembly. Jeers characterized the entry of Members into the House as Members came to terms with the new sitting arrangements.
The victory of the Malawi Congress Party and its alliance partners in Tuesday's election meant that Members from the MCP, formerly of Opposition, moved to the Government side. Consequently, members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have been pushed to the opposition benches.
It has also necessitated change in leadership positions, which the Speaker confirmed when she entered into the chamber. Among others, Hara announced that the newly appointed Minister of Homeland Security will replace DPP's Kondwani Nankhumwa as Leader of the House.
"Following the communication the House has received from the Malawi Electoral Commission on the outcome of Tuesday's election, the MCP will move to the Government side, which sits on the right hand side of the Speaker. Consequently, the DPP moves to the opposition benches.
"I have also received communication of the leadership of the following parties; Honorable Chimwendo Banda (as) Leader of the House; Honorable Kondwani Nankhumwa, Leader of DPP, who in this case will be the Leader of Opposition," Hara said.
Symon Vuwa Kaunda, who was Government Chief Whip in the DPP administration has since become the party's Chief Whip.
Commenting on the development after the adjournment of the House, Chimwendo Banda said that his side will make sure that the House is playing its crucial role in the development of the country.
"We will make sure that as Parliament, we are supporting the development of the country by coming up with proactive and suitable legislations to support the development of the country," Banda said.
Nankhumwa was however, not immediately available for an interview.
The Speaker also announced that following the change in the country's leadership, leadership in Constitutional Committees of the House will have to be changed, as the law dictates that they cannot be headed by Members from the Government side.
These committees include; Budget, Legal Affairs, Public Accounts, Public Appointments, Defence and Security and Government Assurance.
The House will resume on Tuesday when the newly appointed Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu is expected to present a three-month provisional budget.