British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin has advised Malawian parliamentarians to be effective when they are in line of duty mostly in the National Assembly [during deliberations] for the betterment of the nation as well us fulfilling expectations of Malawians.
Nevin was speaking whenhe hosted a reception for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association-Scotland Branch delegation at his Area 10 residence in the capital city, Lilongwe on Tuesday 10th February, 2015.
“There is clearly a demand by Malawians, like their British counterparts, for Parliament to be more effective. How to achieve this is a useful debate including whether the expectations of the citizenry of their MPs are in the right place” said Nevin.
However, Nevin said there are a lot more things that need to be done for parliament to act in an effective way like a good political system of government that encourage and ensures transparency and accountability.
“A parliament cannot operate in isolation. There are many other ingredients needed for democracy and parliaments to be effective, such as upholding the rule of law, a political system that encourages transparency and accountability, a true separation of powers, strong civic education,” he said.
According to the British envoy, Commonwealth offers a unique advantage in this area, adding real value in the continual quest to improve the functioning of democracy.
He further said UK has a strong history with Malawi, including a colonial one which influenced Malawi’s attitudes, institutions and systems.
Having celebrated 50 years of independence last year, Nevin said Malawi need to stand on its own.
“It [Malawi] should be increasingly standing on its own two feet. But our shared history offers the UK and Malawi special advantages to take forward a modern partnership, expanding on our large and extensive development programme that seeks to achieve shared goals, our strong defence relationship, our educational ties, our cooperation on regional and international issues, our common interest in mutual security, prosperity, trade and investment,” explained the British envoy.
Commonwealth is an organization of countries that largely share similar legal and legislative frameworks and sometimes even the same practices in Parliament.