Ahead of the forthcoming Budget Meeting of the Malawi National Assembly next week, the country's State President Mrs. Joyce Banda has appointed Lands and Housing Minister Henry Duncan Phoya as Leader of the House.
Phoya will be deputized by Gender and Child Social Welfare Minister Anita Kalinde.
The President has also appointed Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Ephraim Mganda Chiume as Government Chief Whip.
Chiume, a former Justice Minister in the recent past late Bingu wa Mutharika Cabinet will be deputized by Local Government and Rural Development Minister Grace Maseko.
The new appointments are with effect from May 7 2012 and the development follows the change of political landscape in the country which now has Peoples Party (PP) as a ruling party following the ascending to high office of its leader, Mrs. Joyce Banda.
In line with the country's constitution, Mrs. Joyce Banda, who was the Malawi Vice State President took over the Presidency following the death of Professor Bingu wa Mutharika.
Before forming the PP, Mrs. Banda was along with her Vice President Khumbo Kachale expelled from the then ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on an allegation that they were forming parallel structures within the DPP.
Other quarters however said that the two, who were first and second DPP Presidents respectively, did not endorse Peter Mutharika, younger brother to later Bingu as the party's torch bearer in the 2014 Presidential race.
Mrs. Joyce Banda was sworn in as Malawi President on April 7 2012 and appointed Kachale as her Vice President.
The Malawi leader hired her first “all inclusive” cabinet on April 26 2012 leaving out the members who held the parliamentary positions that she has appointed.
In a related development, opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) appointed Mangochi Central Parliamentarian Clement Chiwaya as the party's Leader of the House replacing Ibrahim Matola who along with his deputy Atupere Muluzi has been hired in the President Banda’s maiden Cabinet as the Environmental and Climate Change Management Deputy Minister, and Economic Planning and Development Minister, respectively.
The DPP is yet to announce Leaders of the Party in the August House.
It is not yet established whether the DPP will wrestle the position of Leader of Opposition from Malawi Congress Party President John Tembo.
But other commentators have said that the Opposition Leader is measured by number of opposition members immediately after the general elections.
The DPP has Professor Peter Mutharika as its acting President.
With the new developments it is not clear how the sitting arrangement will be like and how the some Parliamentarians will face the reality and follow events with soberity.
And the Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda will most likely have a tough ride when making decisions.
On the Parliamentary meeting, the Speaker says Her Excellency Mrs. Joyce Banda as President of the Republic of Malawi, will be the one to officially open the Budget Meeting.
“All Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament are summoned to attend the Meeting.
“All invited guests are advised to be seated by 8.30 a.m. in the Parliament Chamber, Lilongwe,” reads in part a statement from the Office of the Speaker .
The Malawi Leader will open the meeting at the Parliament Building on Friday 18th May, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.