Malawi lawmakers hold debate on democracy: Speaker calls for ‘inclusiveness’

Malawi lawmakers were engaged in a public debate as part of the activities marking International Day of Democracy on Saturday at Rumphi Boma.

Speaking during a panel discussion, Member of Parliament for Mangochi Central, Dr Clement Chiwaya who is also UDF Chief Whip in Parliament said constituents should understand that the role of a parliamentarian is to make laws and ensure that government has put in place good policies that would help them.

“Good governance can spearhead democracy, government should be able to listen to its citizens, and make decisions based on what the people say” he added.

Speaker of National Assembly Speaking at the International democracy Day in Rumphi picture by Henry Nyaka, MANA

Representing the Peoples Party (PP) Abel Kayembe who is Member of Parliament for Dowa West said PP as a party has already shown politics of inclusiveness by the President’s appointment of various cabinet ministers from various opposition parties.

“President Joyce Banda has in her cabinet several cabinet ministers from the opposition, including women and youthful ministers. The President also consults the people before making decisions,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was represented by Mwanza Central MP Nicholas Dausi at the function. He said inclusiveness in democracy entails one accepting that sometimes “we do not do well as leaders.”

The function brought together different parliamentarians from four Political parties of United Democratic Front (UDF), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Peoples Party (PP) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

And Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda, speaking when he presided the function said for democracy to work effectively in the country, it is imperative to include all groups of people including women, the physically challenged and the youth.

“Democracy entails that there should be inclusiveness and peaceful coexistence among political parties and that all people in the country should take part in all decision making processes,” said Chimunthu Banda.

International Democracy Day was sanctioned in 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly. Malawi began commemorating the day in 2009, this year it was commemorated on September 22 instead of the initial day of 15th September.

Traditional leaders, religious leaders and students attended the commemoration day whose theme was ‘Dialogue and Inclusiveness-central to democracy’. The function was also marked by traditional dances, songs and poem recitals.

Members of Parliament during a pannel discussion (front roll). picture by Henry Nyaka, MANA

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