President Peter Mutharika on Friday ruffled feathers of Parliamentarianswhen he challenged that the august House is not bigger than government.
Mutharika has since challenged Parliamentarians to ask themselves on why they are attending the meeting.
The President was opening the 47th session of the National Assembly in the Capital City of Lilongwe when he made the remarks.
“Parliament is an important part of Government. Parliament is an important part of the people. Parliament is a cornerstone of democracy. But Parliament is not, and should never consider itself bigger than Government,” challenged Mutharika.
He said he was not in the Parliament to deliver a State of the Nation Address as that has “its own time and day”, but was there to quiz the honorable members as to “why are we here?”
“As Parliament, the first reason of existence is, as we say, ‘to make laws.’ But more precisely, we are here to enact legislation for the good of the nation. We enact the laws that have been made in a collective process. Indeed, Parliament cannot, and does not make laws single-handedly. Making laws is our shared responsibility between the Executive and Parliament.
“The second reason of our existence is to represent the people. We are here to act on behalf of our voters and citizens. And how many of us truly represent the will of the people? How many of us consult the people we represent?”
Mutharika said he has seen times when Members of Parliament represent their parties more than the people.
“I have seen times when Members of Parliament frustrate Government business that is meant to serve the very people we claim to represent. And I ask again: why are we here?”
Mutharika said Parliament exists to maintain oversight of the Executive on behalf of the people of Malawi, to critically hold the Executive accountable.
“But who holds us accountable? As I will be underlining later in this speech, in any human society – everyone must be accountable to someone else. It is in performing the above roles that we become part of Government. Yes, Government is incomplete without Parliament. And Parliament cannot exist without the Executive and the Judiciary.”
He has since urged the august House to avoid the political hubris of thinking that Parliamentarians are more important than the rest of Government.
“Such political pride can be birth of the tragedy of democracy. We are here for the people. This Session will only be meaningful if we all remember that we are here to represent the people.
Far too often Mr. Speaker, we meet here to flex our political muscles. This is not a house for political posturing. This is not our house. Parliament is the house of the people. We are here on the principle of representing the people.”
On other note, during his speech titled “Rising above Macroeconomic Stability”, Mutharika tackled issues of economic performance, energy situation, food security, public health, public sector reforms and national security.
He said as a nation, Malawi is making steady and positive progress in most sectors of the economy, in spite of the challenges that the nation is currently facing.
“All we need now is for us to work together to sustain and build on the achievements that have been gained so far if we are to realize the sustainable and inclusive growth that we, as a nation, aspire.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :