Malawi Parliament should consider conducting their deliberations in vernacular languages debates in order to narrow the gap that exists between policy makers and communities on the ground, lawmaker Dr. Jessie Kabwira of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has suggested.
Kabwila who is Malawi Parliament Committee’s Chairperson on Women Caucus and a Member of Parliament for Salima North West Constituency made the call on her arrival from the sidelines of the SADC Parliamentary Forum which Malawi and other 12 countries held last week in Ezulwini, Swaziland.
The MCP spokesperson who was elected Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)’s Women Parliamentary Caucus Chairperson, pleaded with lawmakers to consider deliberating their debates in local languages for an effective communication.
She told journalists in the capital Lilongwe that the conference agreed to advocate the use of vernacular for Parliament debates if the region is to benefit from its quest for social-economic growth between member states’ policy makers and implimenters.
“You find that all policy document and deliberations are done in English, and yet only a few of us can analyze and translate them into practice and usage to the general public who most of them don’t understand due to high illiteracy levels.
“It’s high time therefore our Parliament started conducting deliberations in a language most accessible to our voters in rural areas where we are operating from. The use of vernacular has taken grounds in other countries including South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana which are in SADC. So, why not with Malawi? This the reason I’m setting the ball rolling that the rest of members in the August House can buy the ideas as soon as possible”, urges Kabwila.
Lecturer at Mzuzu University, Crispin Mphande, noted that most legislators are not contributing anything because of the same language barrier.
“ Nonetheless, they would have contributed if given the chance to express their opinions in their mother tongue,” said Mphande.
Historically, since Malawi adopted English as an official language, in most official meetings, vernacular languages are not considered.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :