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

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

Clement Chiwaya, a former deputy speaker in Malawi, on Thursday shot himself in the head inside parliament over alleged frustrations in 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 secretly bringing a gun into the high-security building located near Capital Hill, Lilongwe.

Alerts from gun detectors at a security checkpoint were reportedly dismissed to be metals from the former deputy speaker’s wheelchair. 

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.

Six months after he purchased the vehicle, as provided for in his contract pending change of ownership, Chiwaya was involved in an accident.

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 Parliament Secretariat for a solution.

Parliament was, according to Malawi 24, advised that his request was not feasible. Dissatisfied, the former Deputy Speaker took the issue to 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. The Ombudsman’s order, was, however, short-lived after the commercial court set it aside.

“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.