20 April 2018

Malawi Parliament Asked to Allocate More Days for Private Member Business

People in Mzimba have asked Malawi Parliament to consider adding more days in a week, to discuss the private member business in the August House, saying Thursdays only is not enough.

The request was made Saturday in Mzimba during a constituency interface meeting with the community, where Members of Parliament (MPs) explained to people on how parliament operates.

One of the religious leaders Reverend Daniel Gondwe said a day in a week is not enough for private member business as many issues befitting the business are left out.

"On top of Thursday, there should be another day for private member business so that every constituency should be able to speak their problem," Rev Gondwe said.

Mzimba East Constituency Member of Parliament Rabson Shaba said it is very important to change how MPs transact business in parliament.

He said members of parliament have already started the process of reviewing the standing orders to accommodate the said proposal.

"Parliament is guided by standing orders and it is for the MPs to agree to have an extra day apart from Thursday. Currently we have only Thursday that we discuss the private members' business, which is not enough," Shaba said.

Parliamentary committee on social welfare and community services chairperson Richard Chimwendo Banda said reviewing the standing orders is necessary because private members will be given enough time to bring business that will be of benefit to the country in parliament.

"Standing orders are reviewed after five years and now five years is over. If reviewed now, the proposal will be effected next year that is after elections. Sometimes standing orders can be reviewed according to the views from Malawians," Banda said.

Mzimba has been the first district in the northern region to be visited on the programme of taking parliament to the people after Nkhotakota in central region.

The initiative aims to explain to Malawians how parliament operates. Five MPs were present during the function.

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