Through the Malawi Parliament Enhancement Project (MPEP), the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) has been supporting the Parliament of Malawi to finalise a report on the motion to have the Malawi Parliament operate independently in its oversight role. The motion was first moved by Honorable Boniface Kadzamira in 2016 and finally presented to and adopted by the House on 13 December 2018.
The report proposes significant amendments to the Constitution, the Parliamentary Service Act, and the Public Finance Management Act, among other laws. In the current legal framework, parliament has no control over its staff, its budget, and its operations. This has greatly hampered parliament’s performance of its functions.
Why is independence of parliament important? What challenges is parliament currently facing because of the current low levels of independence? What reforms are proposed in the report? What does it mean for Malawi’s population?
These and more questions will be answered in a panel discussion consisting of the Minister of Justice, Hon. Samuel Tembenu, who represents the Executive arm of government, the outgoing Chairperson of the Legal Affairs Committee; Hon. Maxwell Thyolera, whose Committee was tasked with finalising the report and laying it before parliament; Mr. Alan Chinula, Senior Counsel (SC), an independent consultant who has been assisting the Legal Affairs Committee; as well as Dr. Bernadette Malunga, a Law lecturer from Chancellor College.
The discussion will take place today, 19 March 2019, at Zodiak studios in area 47, Sector 5, Lilongwe from 18:30 to 20:00 hrs. The live session will be broadcast on both Zodiak TV and Radio stations and the general public are encouraged to follow the discussion and send in their questions and comments on the stations Twitter (@zodiakonline) and phone numbers will be provided at the start of the segment.