Malawi Diaspora Forum says it welcomes government for “listening” to suggestions to repeal unpopular laws during the forthcoming session of Parliament.
There have been calls from opposition parties, media, civil society including a social justice and advocacy arm of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi -CCJP to repeal the bad laws enacted by the Bingu wa Mutharika regime.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ephraim Chiume said the repressive laws will be referred back to the Malawi Law Commission for review and further public consultation.
“Any responsible government where its sees that, may be its citizens are not akin to some laws which are there, you always want to find a way of addressing those challenges so that everybody is kept in the look in the loop,” Chiume told Zodiak Radio on Tuesday.
In an immediate reaction, Malawi Diaspora Forum (UK) said it welcomed the statement by the Justice Minister, saying suspending the repressive laws will open “the new chapter of change.”
“This is a welcome development. Government should indeed listen to the calls for unpopular laws to be scrapped. We want the process to be genuine and not a temporary window dressing measure to win back donor support,” said Diaspora Forum coordinator Thom Chiumia in a statement he co-signed with Pastor Patrick Mtimbushya.
The Diaspora Forum said they are prepared to whip-up interest of Malawians abroad to increase formal remittance to abate the forex crunch in Malawi if the “unnecessary laws” are indeed repealed.
The Forum says Parliament should ensure civil liberties should be restored and laws stifling freedoms be abandoned.
“Malawi Diaspora Forum has been putting pressure to government to address concerns on governance, economic issues and human rights. We have noted that government is now addressing some of these concerns. We would want genuine change in the policy tenets to restore democracy,” the statement said.
However, the Diaspora Forum also asked government to respect the Vice President as a Constitutional office and appoint a coroner in the inquiry of pro-democracy university student Robert Chasowa’s controversial death.
Parliament reconvenes on November 14 and the House is expected to suspend the Injunctions Bill which prevents granting of an injunction against government or a public officer in the absence of state representation.
Section 46 of the Penal Code which gives powers to a cabinet minister to ban publications judged not in public interest to be suspended is also expected to be suspended.
The Police Bill which is likely to fall to abuse particularly for allowing a police officer to search private property without court warrant is one of the repressive law to face the chop.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :