Leader of opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera has asked for a law that would compel the president to appear before the House to answer questions from back-benchers.
Chakwera, who is also president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) said this on Thursday in parliament when he made his speech when the House rose.
“It is also a matter of concern that this House continues to operate without proper Standing Orders that enables the Head of Government, who is also the Head of State to account to Malawians by answering questions from people’s representatives,” he said.
“We need to face these challenges square one,” he added.
Currently, the law allows members of parliament to ask the President questions but the Head of Government can delegate a cabinet minister answer the questions.
Chakwera and other opposition back benchers once asked President Peter Mutharika questions but were answered by ministers.
Speaker Richard Msowoya said the new set of Standing Orders, to be presented in the 193 strong House, would compel Mutharika to be in parliament in person to answer questions. Chakwera also expressed concern over lack of independence of Anti-Corruption Bureau, Auditor General and parliament.
He also said the review of the ongoing review of electoral reforms.
“As opposition, we shall continue to push for legislation to make sure that the fight against corruption and the mismanagement of Malawi’s finances is won,” he said.
Chakwera said the opposition was not happy with some votes passed in the mid term budget. He said the opposition prioritised issues on national interest and pro-poor.
“We have today passed the mid year budget with some concerns on some vote allocations but for the sake of Malawians who need the crucial services in hospitals and schools, we have done the needful,” he said.
Chakwera also paid tribute to the joint parliamentary committee of parliament for its inquiry in the infamous maizegate, saying this unraveled deep rooted corrupt practices.