Malawi govt rejects electoral reforms bill: Opposition wants to tackle rigging

Government members of parliament managed to hold the opposition from passing the Electoral reforms bill.

Mussa: Malawi Law Commission is handling reforms on electoral law

Dimba: Tabled the Private Members Bill on electoral law reforms

Lilongwe South MP Peter Dimba presented the contentious bill to the House on Thursday but the government side rejected it, saying a serious bill of national importance could not be presented by a member of parliament as a private motion. Government chief whip  Henry Mussa also argued that the Malawi Law Commission was tackling the very same issues.

“Whilst it may seem to be a very good bill, I am simply saying that we do have an authority in Malawi, that is the Malawi Law Commission which is charged with responsibility of these kinds of reforms,” said Mussa.

He said   there was need for  “wider consultations” on the bill.

“How many has the Private Member consulted in this matter? I doubt very much, take it from me. I am from Chiradzulu East Constituency; my chiefs have no idea about this, and the academia have no idea, even the Law Society of Malawi has no idea about this.

“Who are you talking to, your family? I repeat, Mr Speaker, Sir, only not long ago a very renowned political analyst from Chancellor College [Boniface Dulani] cautioned the whole House to say slow down, you cannot approach these reforms piece meal as we are doing. Why don’t you be patient and allow the Malawi Law Commission to do its job?”

Mussa said MP Dimba  was shown a time table on Wednesday on how Law Commission are proceeding with these reforms.

“I do not understand, why the rush? Why can’t we be patient and do the right thing? It is a very good bill but the way it is being approached, it is upside down and I oppose its passing,” said Mussa.

 

But his commnents attracted a point of order from MCP’s Salima North West MP Jessie Kabwila saying it is out of order “to sit here and listen to a government question active citizenship. I think what we have just seen in that bill is something we should be encouraged.”

Kabwila added: “To say who we are you talking belittles the person who has just tabled it here. Who we are talking to are the people who were tabling this, those who have been voting, those are the people we have talked to. What is out of order is to see a government that does not see that we need to rush, there is a lot of rush because we have had stolen election in this country.

“There is a need to rush because we have that we have ended up with stolen votes, burnt votes and definitely we needed to have done this yesterday. For me it is out of order to behave as if we do not need to treat this with urgency. There is need to rush.”

 

After a series of votes, the government side garnered its numbers, others from independent legislators and prevented Dimba from making concluding remarks on the bill as the government side came in full force to refuse curtailment of debate. The debate therefore rumbled on until knocking off time.

When an opposition MP stood to seek for the extension of the seating time, the motion was crashed and the defeated opposition members of parliament walked out of the House with shoulders low amid mockery and sacarsim from the elated government back benchers.

Dimba, among others,  proposed to remove district commissioners as poll managers, president should be sworn in after 21 days, tally centres be instituted in constituencies where vote results should be announced.

The highly charged House proved that the issue was more of political than normal parliament business.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party and Peoples Party allege the ruling Democratic Progress Party stole votes in 2014, an allegation vehemently denied by the President Peter Mutharika administration.

The leader of PP Uladi Mussa said for “purpose of records” for the House, he has  never experienced what happened when government vehemently that making laws should be left to the Malawi Law Commission.

“I have been here in this House since 17th May, 1994.  I have never seen any bill being blocked at second reading without hearing the views of the presenter.  What are these people rejecting?  What were they rejecting, because they did not hear the views of the presenter?  You hear the views, then you disagree, not rejecting before the bill is presented.  I have never seen this.  I want to put it on record,” said Mussa.

MCP ‘s Dedza East MP Juliana Lunguzi  said the House was dragging over an issue that is pertinent.

“Come 2019, they will all be crying that somebody has tampered with their votes at the tally centre,” she said of the government backbenchers who opposed the bill.

Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu asked for patience on the electoral reforms process which he said would be completed on March 31, 2017.

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Major Pen
Guest

Guys DPP will continue ruling Chimanga Anthu akolora, Miseu ya tarmac ikhala ma district onse, Civil service ichitidwa reform, ma community college, kukubwera ndalama za youth from World Bank za ngongole achinyamata okwana 2 million, magetsi akuthana nawo ma investors ayamba kubwera, economy is bounce back, za mbiri mbiri Enanu mukati mufuna Mulamule mudzapanga chani poti DPP I kupanga kale

JAK
Guest

So Jesse Kabwila Thinks The 2014 Elections Were Stolen? Kkkkkkk! Kuchedwa!

Baba wa boy
Guest

DPP does not have a majority in parliament.

The question you people should asking yourselves is, “How does it manage to defeat the opposition motions?”

If you answer that question you will realise DPP did not steal any votes.

People that vote for independent MPs, also Vote for a DPP president.

Opposition will lose 2019 again for the same reasons and cry rigging. Where does an opposition party rig elections? If it does then it is cleverer than the rest.

Apao Kugola
Guest

If people in the ruling party are honest and care about Malawi, then after completion of whatever remains on electoral reforms by the Malawi Law Commission, let some member of parliament from DPP bring the bill to parliament for deliberations. I wait to see that after March 2017. Kuseli kea mwezi uno wa February. Shaa, how time flies.

MULUZI
Guest

Bwinotu bwino !!! NDATI
2019 muzaliranso
Amangwetu !!

Moya
Guest

That’s exactly how DPP steal the election, it makes campaign process useless when one just steals the votes on the last day. Please opposition press on, DPP knows with this bill their winning tricky game is over. Those electoral reforms they are insisting on as long they don’t tackle the voting and ballot counting system they are useless bcoz that’s the center of their dirty winning games.

Omex70
Guest

DPP is used to win the elections through back door. DPP uses District Commissioners,and Teachers to rig the elections. So Henry Mussa and friends know that if these loop holes are sealed they will no longer win elections looking at the performance in DPP in running affairs of Malawi.

Chilungamo Chimawawa
Guest

DPP is government of thieves

chempelende kwatyosya ng'ala
Guest
chempelende kwatyosya ng'ala

Electrol reform experts on your electrol reforms programs please redemarcate some constituencies . How come 1 Hon MP can serve 4 traditional authorities , the end results is lucky of developments in other parts of the constituency.

wpDiscuz

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