Parliament adjourns sine die, fail to tackle Abortion Bill: ‘Great milestone in Malawi’s democracy’

Malawi Parliament on Friday adjourned sine die after concluding its seven-week 2020-21 National Budget meeting but failed to tackle the controversial Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara interacts with Leader of Government business in the house Richard Chimwendo Banda-pic by Lisa Kadango

Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda, described the meeting as a success as it was handled  with a great sense of maturity from both sides of the House.

“It has been a great meeting. The meeting has gone according to plan and even more than that, we know the main seating of parliament is the budget, we are proud and now we can go to give the services to Malawians.

“We are excited that the President came twice in parliament which is extraordinary,” he said.

Chimwendo  bemoaned a weakened opposition, saying divisions in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is not healthy for democracy.

“We are expecting the party to provide checks and balances to the current government, ” he said.

Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara described the just ended sitting as a great milestone in Malawi’s democracy because President Lazarus Chakwera appeared twice in the House to answer questions from members of parliament in fulfilment of his  constitutional duties.

Parliament also discussed and passed electoral reforms- related bills in line with Supreme Court of Appeal consequential orders.

Several bills – 16 in total – have also been passed including the 2020/21 K2.2 trillion National Budget.

In his winding up speech, leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa while commending Tonse Alliance government efforts to fight corruption, he said it should not only target opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members and shield those in the ruling alliance.

“I wish to remind the President that corruption does not stop only at the doors of the DPP, the Department of Immigration, Road Traffic, Lands, Malawi Revenue Authority, or Capital Hill. There is corruption at all levels, including in religious organisations, schools, and right at the State House.

“For example, recent media reports indicate that under President Chakwera’s watch, the State House has been making questionable payments to Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe. These are very disturbing revelations.”

Nankhumwa dared Chakwera to take action against officers involved in graft scandal rather than just paying lip service  on the on-going anti-corruption drive.

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