Some civil rights groups have engaged parliament to reduce the number of constituencies from the current 193 to 100 owing to the current economic turmoil, among other reasons.
Citizen Alliance officials on Tuesday evening met the Speaker Richard Msowoya and all the House leadership in a bid to lobby them reduce the number of constituencies.
Wilson Asidu, executive secretary of Citizen Alliance, an umbrella body of several civil society organisations said Zambia has 158 members of parliament yet its bigger than Malawi.
He also gave an example of South Africa which has 300 legislators yet their population is more than 10 times than that of Malawi.
Asidu said the huge number of parliamentarians has a huge negative effect on the Malawi economy, saying chopping off the 93 legislators would save Malawi of billions of money needed in the rapidly collapsing public health sector and other critical public sectors now in shambles due to the bad economic situation in the country.
After all, he said, councillors are now in place and handle development projects in their respective areas whilst members of parliament just concentrate on law making and oversight functions.
However, Speaker Richard Msowoya dismissed this idea out rightly, saying councillors and members of parliament do different jobs altogether.
Nkhata Bay Central MP Ralph Mhone and Mzimba north MP Agness Nyalonje – all from People’s Party (PP) – instantly dismissed the suggestion, saying the current parliament seats are just enough to propel development activities in the country.
Academician and social commentator also proposed some months ago that there was need to cut the parliamentary seats by 100, arguing most of the MPs just drain government coffers through huge allowances and salaries and other perks yet they do nothing in parliament and in their respective constituencies.