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Shock as Malawi’s ex-deputy speaker shoots himself dead in parliament

AFRICA
By Too Jared | October 1st 2021

Clement Chiwaya's body being removed from Parliament Buildings, Lilongwe, Malawi. [Courtesy]

Clement Chiwaya, a former deputy speaker in Malawi, on Thursday shot himself in the head inside parliament over alleged frustrations with the implementation of his benefits at the National Assembly.

According to AFP, Chiwaya, 50, who served as a member of parliament from 2004, had gone to parliament to discuss vehicle benefits entitled to him when he left office in 2019.

The agency says the wheelchair-bound Chiwaya shot himself inside the office of the clerk of parliament, Fiona Kalembera, after sneaking a gun into the high-security building located near Capital Hill, Lilongwe.

Alerts from metal detectors at a security checkpoint were deemed to be from the former deputy speaker’s wheelchair and reportedly disregarded.

In a statement, Malawi’s parliament said Chiwaya was entitled to benefits, including a provision that he would purchase his official vehicle, at the end of his five-year term.

When the term ended, Parliament released the vehicle to Chiwaya which he purchased pending change of ownership as provided for in his contract.

He was, however, involved in an accident six months later.

At the time of the accident, the vehicle’s comprehensive insurance had expired while the change of ownership was yet to be completed.

Chiwaya is said to have approached Malawi's Parliament Secretariat to remedy his situation but Parliament was advised that his request was not feasible.

Dissatisfied with the Government's position, the former Deputy Speaker took up the issue with the Ombudsman and the Commercial Court.

The Ombudsman determined the case in his favour and consequently ordered Parliament to buy a new vehicle and modify it according to his needs.

However, the order was set aside by the commercial court.

“Parliament could not implement the Ombudsman’s ruling as the matter at the commercial court has not yet been concluded to date. It is unfortunate that this sad development has happened before the conclusion of the matter,” read the statement in part.

Parliament went on to assure that it has taken requisite steps to guarantee security at Parliament as police launch investigations into the incident.

“The public is informed that following the incident, Parliament will enhance security measures of all categories of visitors to Parliament Building. Meanwhile, the Malawi Police Services is handling the matter, and at the appropriate time, the public will be updated accordingly.”  

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