Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Lazarus Chakwera, accused government of systematically blocking opposition MPs from introducing motions on national issues on Thursdays, which are private members’ day.
Chakwera, who is also president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), is quoted in the press that MPs wanted to move a motion on the independence of parliament.
“For example, a motion on the independence of Parliament has, for the second time, failed to be tackled which is a setback,” the Weekend Nation quoted the MCP president as saying
Chakwera, according to the newspaper report, also observed that apart from some bills passed in the House, Parliament did not make significant resolutions on national issues.
He, however, expressed his satisfaction that the opposition managed to push through one motion on Thursday stopping government from hiking fees in secondary schools and public universities.
During the four-week sitting, the House passed a number of bills such as the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Amendment) Bill; Estate Duty (Amendment) Bill; International Development Association (Southern Africa Trade and Transport Programme Phase 2) Loan (Authorisation) Bill; Malawi Institute of Procurement and Supply Bill; European Investment Bank (Upgrading of Aviation Safety and Security Equipment at Kamuzu and Chileka International Airports Project) Loan (Authorisation), Opec Fund for International Development (Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project) Loan (Authorisation); and and African Development Bank (Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project) Loan (Authorisation).
The House referred Bill No. 22 of 2015; Payment Systems to the Budget Committee and Bill No. 11 of 2015; Electronic Transactions to the Committee on Media and Communication.
Bill No. 2 of 2014; Meteorology and Bill No. 24 of 2015; Communication remain outstanding.
The meeting, the first of the 46th Session of Parliament which was officially opened on November 6 2015 by President Peter Mutharika, failed to debate Access to Information (ATI) bill because government delayed its tabling.