Govt assures immunity of MPs from arrests at Malawi Parliament

Malawi government has committed and assured Members of Parliament that   the law enforcement agencies will follow National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act where none of them will face arrests while Parliament is meeting, adding the police erred in arresting MP Jessie Kabwila after attending parliament and other lawmakers previously.

Kasaila: No more arrests of MPs while attending parliament

Kasaila: No more arrests of MPs while attending parliament

Leader of government in Parliament, Francis Kasaila made the assurance following the motion that was moved by the member for Lilongwe North East Maxwell Thyolera who asked for adjournment of parliament up until the government made commitments and assurance that it will grant them their privileges enshrined in the section 60 not to be arrested when the parliament is meeting.

Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya on Tuesday adjourned Parliament proceedings after the arrest of two Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislators Peter Chakhwantha of Lilongwe South West and Jessie Kabwila of Salima North-West and spokesperson for party as well as Ulemu Msungama, the party’s executive member.

The decision was received with cheers from opposition benches and prompted some MPs to verbally attack the government side for being undemocratic, who described President Peter Mutharika’ leadership as “dictatorial”.

“You said you would not arrest people without any reason, what are you doing, what is this? Is this not a police State? [Malawi] is a democratic country and we have the right to stop whatever you are trying to do,” shouted one member in the House.

But on Wednesday Kasaila told the house that as am government they indeed agree that police were at fault for the arrest of the two MCP lawmakers, as well as the arrest of United Democratic Front (UDF) Member of Parliament Shaibu Kaliati and former deputy speaker Jones Chingola.

Kasaila said the business committee of parliament met and discussed the issues of privileges.

“I t was very clear that the provision of privileges act was violated in number of occasion that member of parliament were arrested without following procedures and that all of us we have agreed.

“It is the commitment of government that will make sure that the provision of act in as far as the procedure they are followed as to the law that is important for all of us and to the future of our country and as government I’m giving that commitment that is the commitment from the President as well that the provision from the act will be followed “,Kasaila said

Addressing the members on communication from the business committee, Speaker Richard Msowoya said the committee has agreed that the speaker’s office should be informed on the arrest of any MP in line with section 4 of national assembly powers and privileges act and that they expect police not to arrest any MP while parliament is meeting unless procedure as provided for in powers and privileges and section 60 are adhered to.

“My office will also write the minister of home affairs and internal security advising her that the mounting of road blocks and arrest of members of parliament while the house is meeting should not be repeated unless the relevant laws are complied with.

“ I wish to assure the house that parliamentary committee on privileges will be handling matters related to the breach of members of parliament privileges as provided for in its mandate,” Msowoya said

Commenting, leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera described the agreement as “best interest of our nation”

The mover of the motion, MP Thyolera said “Assurances from Government must be adhered to”

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20 thoughts on “Govt assures immunity of MPs from arrests at Malawi Parliament”

  1. BigMan says:

    A nation obsessed with useless trivial things.

  2. youna says:

    A Philip Buzinezi paja amakhala ndi ma programme ofoila, more especially when the regime has expired. Ine ndikanakhala bwana wa ku MBC ndikanangowaletsa ma programme awo opanda mutu aja. Enanso ndi mafumu eg Lukwa, Kaomba, Lundu etc, amachita kuchiona chilungamo koma amamulimbitsa mtima president pa zinthu zolakwika with the aim of kumupisa mthumba kenako azidzamuloza chala zinthu zikasintha. If I were the HE anthu enawa sinangawamvere coz upangili wao umapangitsa anthu kudana ndi HE.

  3. mbani says:

    dont be stupid MPs the gvt want u to finish her business then the final day they will pounce on those two MPs again

  4. wa noma says:

    its time to sue for harassment and character assassination

  5. His Excellence the Life President Wolemekedzeka Mkango Lion Chivomerezi Chisokonezo Artillery Missile Manthakanjenjemereza says:

    Police ya ku Malawi siyimadziwa ntchito. Akati agwira munthu wa vakabu ati ndi koletsedwa kuyenda usiku. really? Amakagwira munthu ali mu bottlestore(licenced), umbuli. Malawi Police needs more training.

  6. Baba Maduapera says:

    This DPP Govt is a govt in a comma. It’s motionless, so to say. Let’s wait & see what happens next!!!!

  7. thom says:

    Boma please lets have economic receovery and kwacha appreciation. this are things that are really effecting us,

  8. Eye Witness says:

    Lopeee . Read the story 10 times and ask your stupid question.

    The leader has indicated that the police ???? erred in the arrests. But in the future they will need to follow procedures provided in the said act.

    In Mature Democracies, they arrest people in the act and not prematurely. What if today the same people had a whatsapp chat saying ” Lets support the government and not think of the president to resigning”. Would you still arrest them?

    You designated undercover agents to keep tracking their activities while gathering evidence and pounce when they are launching their plans.

  9. spectator says:

    Our President is smart ndipo akhoza kutula udindo or lero but atidye nawo sangalore akhoza kulira ndi kukukuta mano kuti chonde bwana musasiye, mukasiya ife tikadya kuti. Amenewa ndi amene amayambisa zankhaza muziko lathu lino. Ndipo they can do anything for the sake of their positions. Agulukunyinda

  10. Ba Chatola says:

    Nanga a filipp bizimisi amatinji pa radio wani madzulo akuona ngati amalawi akadali opusa ndithu

  11. The Analyst says:

    To have laws and not follow or live by them, is as nonsensical as not having the laws in the first place.

    I wish that Malawi could, for once, have a minister or government official who is honest and truthful. Alas! They are all cheats; including the big man himself. Everybody knows that our police are so unprofessional that they always wait and only act on instructions from above. They are so dull that even if they catch a thief, they do not know what crime to charge the thief for. Thus, even if they see someone committing a crime, they cant act unless they are told or ask for permission to do so. This means that it is not the Police that erred in arresting the “unruly” MPs while parliament was in session, but the one (s) who sent them. Nobody wants empty and nonsensical assurance from Kasaira; but to see the country live by the rule of law.

    You see, one of the major reasons why most African countries fail to attract investment hence develop, is uncertainty on investor-property protection. While investors want laws that fully protect their rights, there is uncertainty on whether or not the laws are there in the first; or there is implementation of the laws or there are professional or integritous legal practioners – lawyers, judges e.t.c hence fair implementation of the law. Sadly, the opposite is true and it is our leaders who even perpetuate such lawlessness. Et tu Brute?

    It should therefore be known that acting like monkeys (following no laws even if we have some), has far-reaching implications on investment (foreign or domestic) and economy which are beyond the political silencing of critics. Only a fool thus, goes round the globe luring investors to their country, when they (the fool) can’t live by or respect their (fool’s) laws; which, among other things, fully guarantee investor-rights protections.

  12. The Partriot says:

    The million dollar queastion is : did the police, the govt and even the attorney General not know about this provision?
    Then why did theyallow so e officers to arrest the honourable members lf our August house?
    Ignorance of the law is not an excuse!
    JK,Chakwantha, mwamva nokhatu ati apolisi analakwa kukumangani! Pezani maloya, mukatamuke! Sapatsa pa manja!!!!!!!

  13. Bololo says:

    @lopee. There are relevant laws, provisions, and procedures that need to be followed as Mr Kasaila said. The fact now is the immunity being talked about here does not cover treason cases but this case is not a treason case as some (including police) presented it to be. For a start, there were bails given straight from police and not after attending high court as treason cases would demand. Second, the police has no evidence (IG said so) to pursue treason case meaning the parliamentarians cant be charged for treason. The members of parliament are only demanding that their immunity from arrest be adhered to as provided in the law. So far the police did not adhere to the law they are supposed to uphold.

  14. kodi says:

    I would be happy kuti amene anamanga anthu awa komanso amene anapeleka mphanvu kwa anthuwo afufuzidwe chifukwa akuononga mbiri ya Mtsogoleri kikkkkkkkkk ngati ku Malawiko kulidi Mtsogoleri,Remember Politicians thinks about the Next Elections, while States Men thinks about the Next Generation.

  15. Tan'gatan'ga says:

    Lopees. They can be arrested provided procedures are followed.

    I can see multiple arrests when Parliament rests.

  16. Tan'gatan'ga says:

    Asunga kampeni kumphasa! Come end of Parliament Session, there are going to be multiple arrests!

  17. Tan'gatan'ga says:

    Lopee! They can be arrested, but, there are procedure. NOT JUST ARRESTING THEM ON THE STREETS!

  18. BOKHO says:

    Stupid govt full of fear for MCP. Stop arresting our party offiocials anthu ononga inu. MCP shall be there while DPP will be no more.

  19. zangazanga says:

    Dear Lopee,

    If you clearly heard what the IG said yesterday, you can conclude that the arrest was politically motivated. Here are the facts;

    1. He admitted that the so called “suspects” have not been charged with treason case. Now the police act on orders. The question you need to ask yourself is who ordered these arrest if the IG himself knows no any case committed by these people
    2. If the case was treason as alleged. Do you think a person would be given a bail within 24 hour of arrest?
    3. Can a treason suspect be a surety of himself? ( I know that sometimes people think along party lines by always defending their party whether the party is wrong but I guess it is high time we started using our brains)

  20. lopee says:

    So, what i am getting from your comment honourable leader of the house is that if there was an assasination attempt on the president orchestrated by the Whatsapp honourable members while parliament is in session then they will not be brought to justice? school me on the immunity please…

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