With only a day left before the opening of the 2012-3 budget session of parliament, it is still unclear if Leader of Opposition in parliament (LOP) Right Hon. John Z. U. Tembo will seat on government benches. The Dedza South parliamentarian confessed his support for the new president Her Excellency Mrs. Joyce Banda and was last seen at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) welcoming her from her maiden trip to South Africa. This was quite unusual for Hon Tembo to welcome a president at the airport.
Media reports have been awash with rumors of the appointment of the veteran politician to the second vice presidency. In an interview weeks ago, JZU, as is fondly referred to, hinted that he was ready to accept such an offer should it be extended to him.
During his recent mass rally at Kamtande school ground in Mchinji, the MCP leader told his followers that he will support President Banda’s government owing to the president’s commitment to repeal the bad laws including section 46, the Police Act, and the probe on the death of a fourth-year engineering student, Robert Chasowa.
Investigations carried by this blogger show that the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, as of today, will still seat on the opposition benches come Friday May 18 2012 when President Banda opens the budget session. According to the seating plan that his party has presented to the Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda shows that Tembo’s seat remain intact as of now; and changed made on the two parliamentarians who have been roped in as deputy ministers by President Banda.
Leaked information from the several meetings Tembo has held with his party’s legislators show that he is ready to go for the position first and last held by the late Chakufwa Chihana under Bakili Muluzi’s tenure. However, the parliamentarians made a demand to Tembo in the event that he accepts the offer; that a few MPs be appointed as full cabinet ministers.
To compound things further, it is said that Peoples Party (PP) gurus who once worked with Tembo are another stumbling block to the deal. My source remained tight-lipped on the details.