Fond pushes for anti-defection law Section 65

Think-tank  Forum for New Direction (Fond) says it is encouraged by Malawi’s President Joyce Banda’s “dream” state-of-the nation address but warned that until Malawians begin to see speech translated into action it will remain what she just said it is, “a dream”.

“State of the nation addresses … generally are full of rhetoric, flowery, inspirational and yet they are empty without ‘political will’,… without commitment, … without transparency and accountability of resources that Malawians sweat for … are empty when corruption by politicians and purse keepers is not punished and are empty when nepotism rules,” said Fond in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.

The statement signed by spokesperson Ndumanene Silungwe and other four members commends the President for touching on a number of “dreams”, and yet urges her government to also consider other “dream-areas” not tackled in her speech.

MPs who have crossed the floor should face Section 65

Silungwe also said that Fond acknowledges the fact that the President is her own person who must not be judged on the basis of the identities of the previous regimes and rulers.

Dream-areas” not touched

Silungwe cited the infamous Section 65 detailing the behaviour of Members of political parties formerly voted into parliament by that party, but chooses to associate with a party other than that that originally voted them to parliament must be adhered to for all MPs that are now working with PP.

“Again failure by Joyce Banda to push for this – even in the event where MPs debate it to the contrary, will confirm Joyce Banda’s violation of the constitution she has sworn to defend and entrench the lip-service that politicians are known for” he said.

Silungwe said MPs that have crossed over to PP must seek re-election saying Fond shall also question any behaviour by any CSOs to behave to the contrary on this obvious constitutional issue.

“Similarly, Fonds expects the repeal of constitution concerning the recall provision of Members of Parliament. MPs are servants of the people and where the constituents genuinely feel their MPs have failed they must be recalled,” he said

On the repeal of the village (Local) Courts Act, Fond said the process must be a consultative one despite the fact that Malawi’s Courts are overwhelmed.

“We must as a nation begin to embrace restorative justice for petty crimes (for which village courts can do better) and avoid reliance on retributive justice. Village courts must be assigned specific manner of cases,” Silungwe said.

Commission of Inquiries/July 20

Silungwe said Fond is also concerned that President Banda appointed Finley Binali as deputy commissioner of police in her recent police restructuring.

“Commissioner Binali was head of the police when the murders of innocent lives were committed by police in Mzuzu and led the team that resisted burial of the same at Zolozolo.

“While Mr. Binali is … a dedicated servant, the Mzuzu event which happened under his leadership erodes his credibility; and therefore his appointment shall be perceived by the deceased families and peace loving Malawians as rewarding mediocrity and atrocities,” he noted

According to Fond, Binali must be put aside as deputy commissioner of police so as not to compromise the image of the police.

Fond says it is also interested to hear what government has to say on the tombstones of those killed on July, 20 and buried at Zolozolo in Mzuzu.

“These young men were killed extra-judiciary. Resources must be set aside in the current budget to elect memorial tombstones for the dead,” he said.

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