Malawi: MP Musowa Threatens to Boycott Parliament - DPP Says 'Give Teachers Covid Risk Allowance'

On Tuesday morning, Member of Parliament for Mulanje Bale, Victor Musowa, threatened to boycott Parliament sitting and would only come back when students resume learning as teachers are on strike, demanding government to give them Covid-19 risk allowances.

Musowa promised to refund his allowances for the days he will be out of Parliament, saying it is unfair for the MPs -- whose kids are studying abroad or in glamorous schools in the country -- to be discussing issues in the august House when sons and daughters of poor Malawians are not learning because teachers are demanding risk allowances.

But Leader of the House, Richard Chimwendo Banda advised Musowa against boycotting Parliament, adding that the opposition should not politicise the teachers' strike.

On Monday, Presidential Press Secretary Brian Banda said at a State House weekly briefing that teachers should understand the direction given by scientists that they are not at high risk to Covid-19.

He added that President Lazarus Chakwera expect teachers to understand these issues and hopes that schools will re-re-open.

But DPP spokesperson on Finance, Joseph Mwanamvekha, said teachers should be given Covid-19 risk allowances just like other workers.

"We, on this side of the isle were shocked with the inconsistency and contradictory remarks by the Minister on the government side indicating that teachers are not at risk and therefore they do not deserve getting risk allowances and on the other hand she is saying teachers will be the first ones to get vaccinated as they are at risk! Madam Speaker, this is contradictory and baffling!

"To be realistic and fair, Madam Speaker, teachers deserve risk allowance the same as our men and women in uniform," said Mwanamvekha.

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