7 December 2017

Malawi: Lawyer Wapona Says Malawi Parliament Need to Have Legislative Department

Private practice lawyer Wapona Kita has said a real separation of power between Parliament and Executive Branches of government can be achieved only if Parliament can have its own Legislation Department.

The call comes amid heated debate on the famous Electoral Reforms Bill which the government fuelled by the rulling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is trying to block the bill from being tabled and passed in Parliament.

"A real separation of power between Parliament and Executive Branches of Government will only be achieved when Parliament has its own Legal Department responsible for drafting legislation," said Kita.

He added that: "The powers of Parliament to enact legislation cannot be said to be separation from Executive when it is at the mercy of the executive to select which bills to draft and when to present them to parliament to be endorsed into law".

Kita therefore called upon the government through the Ministry of Justice to consider moving the Legislative department which is currently under the Justice ministry to Parliament.

"Let the legislative department currently under Ministry of Justice be moved parliament and be under the office of the Speaker of Parliament," said Kita.

Meanwhile, several quarters have blamed the Peter Mutharika government for making unnecessary delays in tabling of Electoral Reforms Bill.

Some have however reminded both parliamenterians from the opposition and rulling to think of the importance of the electoral reforms bill.

"MP's must bare in mind that electoral reforms will benefit all of us as Malawians be it in opposition or government. Time has come for our MP's to work together as Malawian's so hat we can develop our nation together," said Humphrey Mhango, former Chairperson for former rulling People's Party-South African Chapter.

He has since warned DPP against corrupting and buying some opposition MP's to gun down the electoral reforms bill.

Human Rights Defender Allie Mwachande concurred with Mhango on the need to have electoral system reshaped.

"Electoral Reforms Bill is broad but I am surprised that many who are against it are centred much on 50% +1. This should not be the case because it is about improving the general environment for Elections in Malawi," said Mwachande.

The Electoral Reforms Bill comprises of The Constitution Amendment Bill, The Electoral Commission Amendment Bill, The Elections Management Fund Bill, The Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections Bill, The Assumption of Office of Presidential (Transitional Arrangements) Bill and The Referendum Bill just to mention afew.


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