BLANTYRE—A Malawi lawmaker packs heat for reasons that perhaps can best be described as bizarre.
People are “disrespectful" and he wants "to be respected".
Member of Parliament for Blantyre City South West, Jeoffrey Ntelemuka, shocked members of the District Advisory Committee for Blantyre when he revealed that he carries a gun in his car.
“I can’t allow to be threatened. I move around with a gun in my car because people are so disrespectful,” Ntelemuka said Wednesday.
Ntelemuka repeated his earlier statement when some members said “muti shuta” meaning you’ll shoot us.
“That’s me. I can’t allow to be threatened. I need to be respected,” Ntelemuka said.
He said that was why he had been deliberately missing some of the launch ceremony of Local Development Fund (LDF) projects.
“For instance, the traditional leader of Ntonda publicly disrespected me and we don’t talk to each other,” said Ntelemuka.
Ntelemuka accused unnamed officers from the district council of telling village committees that MPs aren’t important.
The lawmaker’s sentiments were in response to an earlier plea by Blantyre District Commissioner Charles Makanga that MPs should just play an advisory role to the Local Development Fund (LDF) committees and not force them to follow their decisions.
Makanga had complained that MPs weren’t following LDF guidelines which require members of the committee to run projects and not MPs.
However, some MPs from Blantyre were reported to be visiting shops for quotations and forcing the committees to buy from specified shops.
Member of Parliament for Blantyre North insisted he was doing the right thing.
“I don’t see anything wrong with that. I do that to help them because they cannot locate cheaper shops on their own,” Francis Phiso said.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.