Evangelical Church of Malawi calls for Section 65 implementation

The Evangelical Church of Malawi (ECM) has vowed to push for Speaker of Parliament, Henry Chimunthu Banda to implement anti-defection law Section 65 during forthcoming meeting of Parliament.

ECM has since set up a taskforce to, among other things, mobilize support, and vacate obtained injunctions restraining the Speaker invoking the controversial Section.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, ECM National General Secretary, Reverend Otherwise Makupe said the church is concerned with continuous disregard of the country’s Constitution.

Makupe said it’s surprising that human rights and civil society organizations chose to remain silent despite attempts by some legislatures to block implementation of the Section.

Speaker Chimunthu Banda: Hands-tied
Speaker Chimunthu Banda: Hands-tied

”There is continuous abuse of power. Some things are being overlooked as people are manipulated to disregard the Constitution. Section 65 is more powerful than those injunctions,” Makupe said. He revealed that they will engage legal counsel to vacate injunctions some affected MPs obtained stopping the Speaker from invoking the Section on legislatures that crossed the floor.

”Apart from vacating the injunctions, we will hold vigils at Parliament building and homes of affected MPs until it is implemented.

”We are surprised nothing is said on Section 65. All those who are vocal on national issues are now silent, and that is why as the church, have decided to speak”.

Makupe added that the church will not retire from its chore of helping those in authority to rule faithfully and respect the Constitution.

Chimunthu Banda told the media last month he will only invoke the Section once the injunctions are vacated.

Parliament is slated to start meeting on February 8 for a mid-term budget deliberation with 18 bills set to be tabled. But Banda said the issue of Section 65 will not be part of deliberations until the legal battles are concluded.

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