Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has noted that Malawi Parliament lacks the institutional capacity to perform its roles effectively and that Parliamentary committees do not meet regularly to perform their various functions fundamentally because of insufficient funding.
He was addressing Parliament on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the close of the 2016/17 Mid-Year Budget Review Session in the capital, Lilongwe.
“I wish to assure this august House and the people of Malawi that I shall work closely with the Honourable Speaker and the leadership of political parties in this August House to ensure that the Executive allocates adequate funds to Parliament so that parliamentary committees perform their oversight functions without any hindrance.
“Committees’ oversight and scrutiny functions contribute towards a better informed administration and government policy-making process,” said Malawi’s youngest ever Leader of the House.
He noted that every democratic society has to have the three arms of Government functioning in tandem in order to serve the people well. Parliament must always have the required capacity in order to discharge its constitutional obligations.
“For Parliament to effectively represent the people, we require adequate resources and facilities to assist us in the legislative process to ensure that laws passed by Parliament do not end up undermining the dignity of the people and their development in any way,” observed Nankhumwa, who is also Local Government and Rural Development Minister.
The Leader of the House pledged that he would ensure that his cabinet colleagues and attend to their parliamentary responsibilities, especially to ensure that all outstanding bills and other business are dealt with expeditiously.
“Mr. Speaker. Sir and Honourable colleagues, it is my considered resolve that as Leader of Government Business in this august House, I shall ensure that our Legislature continues to monitor Executive action, through improved oversight mechanisms.
“Governance entails a series of decision-making and their implementation. It is the quality of these decisions and the manner by which they are implemented that determines the effectiveness of governance. Parliament, as an important arm of the State, has a crucial role in promoting and protecting democracy and good governance thereby establishing not only the necessary checks and balances, but also developing norms and standards for institutions of democracy and governance.
“I wish to urge all of us to work together–the opposition parties; the private sector; our cooperating and development partners; civil society organizations; the faith community and the general public. We must have that Unity of purpose, which shall help our people to move out of abject poverty,” the Mulanje central MP said.
He called on all parties represented in Parliament to closely work together to improve communication between citizens and their government and identify and suggest best practices that will help our government to promote democracy and good governance through key functions of legislation, representation and oversight.
“We must ensure, as a matter of urgency, that government improves its capacity to listen to, understand the needs, and comply with the expectations of the citizens through Parliament,” said Nankhumwa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :