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.
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.