Call to reduce number of Malawi MPs: Analysts suggest constituency reduction

An academician and a renowned Malawian writer has suggested to government to reduce the number of political constituencies in the country to 90 from the current 193.

Kenani:   Consider drastically reducing the number of MPs

Kenani: Consider drastically reducing the number of MPs

Stanley Onjezani Kenani, an influential political columnist in Sunday Times, says even if the constituencies are reduced, development programs would still be implemented through councillors who sit on local government council meetings.

“To reduce the number of MPs, we must first understand the role of MPs, full stop. They do not need to build roads or bridges, that is for local government. Cutting the number of seats from 193 to 90 would change nothing as long as we let the local government do its work.

“In Malawi, we let MPs do the work of councillors because for a long time we did not let the local government work. This changed after the elections of May 2014. This was a time after Kamuzu was MP for the whole Kasungu and Mchinji districts and the House had only 28 MPs,” he argues.

Onjezani’s suggestion is likely to be dismissed by politicians who might fear reduction of political power due to reduced political representatives in their respective political power bases.

However, speaking on Zodiak Radio recently, Felix Jumbe, a member of parliament in Salima said there is need to civic educate people on the roles of an MP and councillor.

The Malawi Congress Party legislator says most people are ignorant the fact that the primary role of an MP is to make laws whilst that of a councillor is for development.

The reduction would also drastically reduce the budget for parliament on salaries and huge allowances for the legislators.

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21 thoughts on “Call to reduce number of Malawi MPs: Analysts suggest constituency reduction”

  1. truth says:

    kanjipiti @ 15

    the American governance system has a strong regional (state) administration arm which in turn is fed by county (district) administration. that is why they do not need a bulky national governance body.

  2. Dengele says:

    no sence contribution. Even we reduce Number of MPS to one Malawi Economy will never change. if your President can take more than 100 people to UN and Pali njila zambiri zimene anthu amabela. reduce MPS to 2 or 1. That will not change anything economically to this nation we remain the bottom poorest in Africa. Again an MP will not amend on this one because it has to go through Malawi National Assembly to be changed and the people responsible are the same MP. Don’t expect MPS to shoot their own legs .

  3. ZAMKUTU says:

    Fodya eti!! Ife cashgate ayi Koma timadyela kumeneku mukavoter kuti tikhalenso ma MP ndiye zopusa zanuzo ku America komweko

  4. ppipiiiii says:

    I concur with stanley, some of these so called MPs dont know what role they are to play, they have a feeling that since they are there, they are a government and own everything in the constituency, one of my friend an MP once tood me thathe got powers to fire a police office or to transfer that police officer if he doesnt want him, just imagine, is this the role of the MP? Its high time the number of MPs be reduced to save tax payers money whic can be used for more importantly importantly departments, and also it will be better for an MP to have a higher qualification than just an MSCE certificate… imagime an MP spending the whole parliamentary session without any contribution, he just went there to register for his allowances only…. wake up Malawi

  5. john Chamba says:

    I feel sorry for those Malawians who think because they have degrees then they are on cloud 9. I am a holder of MCE but do articulate issues much better than some degree holders. If you think by holding a useless degree then you have solutions to our numerous economic problems why then don’t you come forward to help the government solve these problems. Most of you have degrees in order to get employed and not to create jobs to prove that indeed you learned something different from a holder of MCE. A degree without value is just like any worthless piece of paper.

  6. Kanjipiti says:

    The USA, the richest country on earth, with a population of some 320 million people has about 435 Congressmen and 100 Senators, bringing the total to 535. If we pro-rate this to Malawi, assuming a population of 16 million, the total number of MPs ought to be 27. Therefore the person who suggested 30 MPs – one per district- is spot on. But even taking on board Stanley’s suggestion of 90 (roughly an average of 3 MPs per district) we would still be better off than with the current bloated 193 MPs.

    With our economy being in dire straits we ought to accept that many of our deep rooted practices are holding us back as a nation. We need a radical re-think. If we are able to abolish JCE, we should also be able to abolish some constituencies, trim the convoy, trim the number of state residencies, trim ministerial and top public officers’ allowances, trim all travel, etc, etc.

    We should learn to focus on increasing production, rather than on misusing the meagre revenue that we generate. No one is going to come down from heaven to implement these necessary changes for us – we have to implement them ourselves…

    1. truth says:

      kanjipiti @ 15

      the American governance system has a strong regional (state) administration arm which in turn is fed by county (district) administration. that is why they do not need a bulky national governance body.

  7. Tifose says:

    Malawian

    If many people in Malawi think like Stan Kenani, like Ollen Mwalubunju, we could be on our marks, now we need to get set and start running because we have already lost a lot in mediocrity. What Stan shares in from his heart and factual, cant deny that. With finances very we need think what is ideal for the country. MPs # needs serious review as there are endless stand off in constituencies and wards ie look at how on earth can an MP mobilize chiefs to sign a letter of no to hotel development in lake shore area.

    Mtambo was CSO take this one as well.

  8. Mtondoli Jonazi says:

    Ambiri just go kumakagona ndi kuphwitsa mu nyumba ya malamulo after heavy lunches and dinners subsidized by the tax payer. And what do they do anyway most of the times of the year when they are not is session? I still further more propose that they get only paid when they are in session because that’s when the ‘seem to be working’!!

  9. W. PHIRI says:

    I concur with Mr Kenani. Just look at the workings below:

    CURENT

    month: total month total year

    193 MPS mk450,000 mk86.85m mk1.042bn
    budget meeting 60 dys mk50,000 mk579.omn mk579.0mn
    fuel allowance 1000 lts mk723,000 mk 139.539mn mk1.674bn

    PROPOSED

    31 MPS mk450,000 mk13.95mn mk167.4mn
    budget meeting 7 dys mk25,000 mk5.42mn mk5.42mn
    fuel allowance 200 lts mk144,600 mk4.48mn mk53.79mn

    Total saving using proposed structure MK3.069bn.

    We actually dont need that nimber of MPS because in most cases they are there for money only. Look at the people suffering in the villages. HORRIBLE .

    LOOK at others ways we can save and develop this COUNTRY.

    THANKS MR KENANI

  10. Issa Kabudula says:

    I agree with this man – the more the MPs in the parliament, of which many are just there for allowances and contribute less except self-enrichment. The councillors are lacking work for the same law makers they also come to the village and claim to be doing the work instead of listening from the communities and report what their communities have told them, they stand as spectators and money eaters. I have many friends who today are in parliament and doing nothing, I never heard them talking anything even in their own mother tongue.

    Reduce them and leave the councillors empowered and work hand in hand with the chiefs. Development in Malawi need unifying strategy where all the politicians and the chiefs/traditional authorities must come together and work for the common goal. I would one day be thankful to the law makers (parliamentarians) to table the bill of the ministry of traditional; authorities, we need to work with them to stop the land abuse and crime.

    Lack of their contribution to development is giving the police tough time in managing the growing cases of crime. Chiefs must be empower together with the councillors. In my life time I met a councillor from Britain – who was a visiting South Africa, by seeing him and what he was projecting, he was more than our African councillors – the man was worth the presidential post…..we can do the same – empowerment.

  11. John says:

    It has always surprised me why a poor and small country like Malawi should have 193 MPs. This is all because of Muluzi. I will die hating Muluzi for the silly things he did. This idiot did not have any clue on how to develop the country. I hear rather than reducing the numbers, these politicians are considering toincrease the number of MPs. What the hell is that?

  12. Jamison Lungu says:

    Ma rubbish business bringing insecurity in my beloved country. This humble suggestion by a well known Malawian should be considered with all the seriousness it deserves. I know Parliament is the second most expensive institution after The Executive. Ndanena!

  13. Change says:

    I hear him.

  14. Kingsley Jika says:

    Stanley, remember section 64 of the Constitution: the Recall provision & how that it became one of the earliest casualties of our Constitution when Parliament just a year into the multi-party sent it to a sort of early grave through that controversial repeal? I can forsee resistance on an unprecedent scale for this to work. But it’s nice to wish good for our ‘young’ democracy.

  15. kate says:

    I suggest MP’s should be Degree holders for effective delivery in Parliament and people at their constituency. Osangotenga anthu oba ma certificate a MSCE.

  16. Moses says:

    I support this idea by Stanley.

  17. Mr G says:

    Kuchepesa kukufunika kwambiri. Anthu 90 kupanga malamulo ndiwokwanira. Ndalama za Boma zikupita zambiri kwa ma MP woti amakangogonako ku parliament chifukwa achulukitsa.

  18. becks says:

    We don’t need even 90 we need only 30 to represent each district. These people must work

  19. mphevu says:

    Reducing MPs would definitely reduce the cost of government

  20. Likoma Economist says:

    Excellent suggestion. We shud also improve the quality of our MPs. How on earth do you expect an MSCE with marginal passes in all subject make sensible and constructive contributions in parliament? And look at the likes of Kaliatis? Somtimes I feel that God has simply ignored Malawi.

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