Kabwila says Malawi Parliament should use vernacular  languages for deliberations

Malawi Parliament should consider conducting their deliberations in vernacular languages debates in order to narrow the gap that exists between policy makers and communities on the ground, lawmaker Dr. Jessie Kabwira of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has suggested.

Kabwila:  Time to allow MPs speak their dialect

Kabwila: Time to allow MPs speak their dialect

Kabwila who is Malawi Parliament Committee’s Chairperson on Women Caucus and a Member of Parliament for Salima North West Constituency made the call on her arrival from the sidelines of the SADC Parliamentary Forum which Malawi and other 12 countries held last week in Ezulwini, Swaziland.

The MCP spokesperson who was  elected Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)’s Women Parliamentary Caucus Chairperson, pleaded with lawmakers to consider deliberating their debates in local languages for an effective communication.

She told journalists in the capital Lilongwe that the conference agreed to advocate the use of vernacular for Parliament debates if the region is to benefit from its quest for social-economic growth between member states’ policy makers and implimenters.

“You find that all policy document and deliberations are done in English, and yet only a few of us can analyze and translate them into practice and usage to the general public who most of them don’t understand due to high illiteracy levels.

“It’s high time therefore our Parliament started conducting deliberations in a language most accessible to our voters in rural areas where we are operating from. The use of vernacular has taken grounds in other countries including South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana which are in SADC. So, why not with Malawi? This the reason I’m setting the ball rolling that the rest of members in the August House can buy the ideas as soon as possible”, urges Kabwila.

Lecturer at Mzuzu University, Crispin Mphande,  noted that most legislators are not contributing anything because of the same language barrier.

“ Nonetheless, they would have contributed if given the chance to express their opinions in their mother tongue,” said Mphande.

Historically, since Malawi adopted English as an official language, in most official meetings, vernacular languages are not considered.

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Local languages!!!!!!!!!!!


She didnt say anthu azilankhula Chichewa bwanji kodi nanunso?Read again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zomwe akuchita Kabwila ndi zomwe imachita ministry of Education, adopting any novel idea to change syllabus so long as a donor dangles money. One day they will tell you that this is a better assessment method and they will come tomorrow and say but the best method is this one. One Phillip Business with his Malata and Cement Subsidy programme was on air last night. Visiting beneficiaries in Mzimba Solola. I can tell yu the guy struggled to communicate with old gurus whose only language id Tumbuka. One old lady asked a youngster to translate Chichewa into Tumbuka for her… Read more »
Chimbolo Chidyenji

Gogodasi ali ndi mfundo. Kabwila is a lecturer in English. She knows that there are some words which are well understood when said in English than Chichewa. The diction in Chichewa is very limited. You can’t compare with languages like Swahili which have a rich diction such that the entire science subject can be taught in Swahili. Some objects are also respectable when mentioned in English. For instance, if you say she pulled her husband’s penis, it becomes lighter than saying the same in Chichewa.

Issa, don’t be myopic. There is a difference between a country that was under colonialism and those that colonised others. In other words, colonial legacy is what is dictating the systems of other countries in the world like Malawi. The countries you have mentioned have never been colonised and they had to develop their own systems from scratch and yet our parliamentary system is patterned after the British system and France’s former colonies in West Africa and elsehwre in the world for instance followed suit. I am afraid I would not buy your argument because Malawi has no influence over… Read more »

I agree with Kabwil. her main argument is that the citizens are not able to follow deliberatios in parlimanent becaise of high iliteracy levels. Poor participation of MPs is also an isue, but not the most critical one. When one analyses the comments, the focus is on MPs’ capacity to talk in English. Should nyasatimes also be in vernacula so everyone can understand postings like this?


Good, I support this one, So many civilised countries use their languages not because they are not educated but communication is a two way process. Countries like Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, China, Russia, France , Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Turkey and many don’t use English because is a borrowed language apart from being C………….

Kabwila-Kapasula’s proposal just confirms my previous suspicion: that she just adopts many ideas holus bolus, without even a rudimentary analysis. …and it has taken her only one (allowanceable) meeting/conference to come up with this nonsense! This is a nonstarter in Malawi. For reasons some of which are obvious: we are a VERY poor country. And who’s going to pay for the translation services into all the indigenous languages of ours etc etc? This girl should have consulted knowledgeable people before throwing this idea out like this. But NO, she’s NOT a team player. Rather a know-it-all. Aaaaaaaa. And people cannot… Read more »
Mayi Kabwila zomwe mukuganizazi ndi zoti ku Nyumba ya malalamulo kudadze mbuli, mamalo mwake pakamakhala maulendo akunja osantha chingerezi samayenda nao chifukwa sakamwa zokombarana zomwe nthawi zambiri zimakhala m’chingerezi. M’mawlo mwake muzipita ndinu nokha nokha pomanamizira kuti mumamva chingerezi. .Apa mukufuna kubweretsa ndale zoponderezana. Palibe nkhani yapa.kenako mudyambanso kuti ku university maphunziro azikhala m’chichewa. Musaiwale boma m’buyomu linatiuza kuti mwana amaphunzira bwino m’chinenero chake ku praimale, koma ndi MP angati anasiya ana ao ku primary za boma? Nonse munawachotsa ana anu nsikukawaika ku sukulu za priveti chifukwa choti akaphunzire chingerezi chifukwa oterewa ndi omwe amachita bwino ngakhale m’mainterview a ntchito… Read more »
Imraan Sadick

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