Malawi govt shoots down Children’s Bill tabled  by MCP legislator Lowe

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe surprised and shocked child rights activists in the country when he disapproved a private members bill  which seeks to set up a National Children’s Commission to step up the protection of children in the country.

Gondwe (L) and Chazama: Did not support the Children’s Bill

The bill was moved by Lilongwe central MP Robin Lowe of main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP)  as a private member’s bill on Thursday to address issues affecting children and how to protect the children.

However, Speaker of parliament Richard Msowoya said bills of that nature needed the blessing of the government and asked Gondwe to comment on whether the bill should go ahead or not.

But Gondwe said the government has no money to fund the commission and threw out the bill.

“We have no money from the consolidated fund for such a thing,” he said.

Gondwe said: “ I have not been consulted on this Bill. I would like to say any commission of this nature would have  an imposition on the Consolidated Fund. As such, with the programmes that we have at the moment, this is not time for us to add more bodies to rely on the Consolidated Fund.

“I would therefore, not encourage that we proceed with this Bill.”

Gender,minister Cecilia Chazama said Lowe did not follow the right procedures before tabling the bill.

He said he was warned before hand not to table the bill but he disregarded the advice, saying such bills should be authorized by the government.

The chairman of the Social and Community Services Richard Chimwendo Banda asked for a meeting of the Business Committee, the political leadership of the House which was granted.

“It is unfortunate that we want to abandon this important Bill,” he said.

Henry Machemba, child rights activist said he was shocked with the decision by the government to shoot down the bill.

He said child rights organisations in the country spent huge sums of money on consultative meetings across the country for the establishment of the commission which he said was vital for the protection of children in the country.

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Truth pains
Guest
Truth pains

UNICEF, and NGO CCR deliberately worked to misinform the country on the need for National Children’s Commission. Throughout the consultations which Machemba is crying as loss of money people made it clear that its functions are colliding with the role of the Malawi Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Gender. The consultations in all the regions asked this Commission to be housed within the Human Rights Commission as in other countries or housed in the Ministry of Gender or in the Ministry of Justice but UNICEF and the NGOs wanted to create another stand alone structure. Therefore, there is… Read more »

Msasa
Guest
Msasa

But there is money for other things such as buying beer for the youths. It is unfortunate that Goodall has cited lack of money for the government to support this bill. I hope when MCP or UTM when they come to power next year they will consider this important bill.

chimanga Chaponda
Guest

Old man Gondwe cannot appreciate the importance of this bill in Malawi. His children do not live here. the same with Professor Maliseche. Selfishness at its best

Cashgate1
Guest

Thats the Malawi I know. Even the whole Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare would go against issues that are within her ministry. What is she doing there then if she is not an advocate of child issues? Apumbwa awa, ndalama zilipo, only that your focus is how much you swindle government for party issue. Mbuzi

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