Parliament has passed the Malawi Engineering Institution Bill which repeals the Engineers Act of 1972 with the view of providing a new legal framework that will comprehensively deal with challenges and new developments in the engineering profession.
Tabling the bill, Minister of Transport Jappie Mhango said enforcement of the repealed law became a challenge due to delays in the registration of professionals and lack of continuous professional development and enforcement of engineering standards.
Mhango said the engineering profession is regulated by Engineers Act which was enacted in 1972 and establishes the body of engineers to regulate the profession.
The minister said the bill will merge the body of engineers and Malawi Institute of Engineers to establish the engineering institution which will be responsible for regulating the conduct and management of the profession and all other allied disciplines in Malawi.
“The major of two bodies will streamline membership into one body and facilitate continuous professional development. The institution will not only regulate individuals to practising the profession of engineering and other allied disciplines in Malawi, but also represent their professional welfare,” said Mhango.
In this regard, Mhango said the institution will register and subsequently issue practising licences to all the individuals that will be practising engineering profession and other allied disciplines in Malawi.
“As opposed to the current Engineers Act, the institution will regulate engineers and those engaged in disciplines allied to it,” said Mhango.
The minister said the new legilstaion is expected to create “synergies among training institutions in the engineering industry and practising engineers, thereby enhancing Malawi’s technological capacity through the incorporation of all emerging engineering disciplines.”
He said the engineering institution will not only regulate individuals practising the professional and other allied disciplines in the country, but also enhance integrity of the profession in the face of the growing ethical concerns.
The minister said the bill is the product of extensive consultations with various institutions and other relevant stakeholders.
In his contribution, Nkhotakota south east MP (Malawi Congress Party – MCP) Everson Makowa Mwale applauded the initiators of the bill for having come to “the obvious conclusion” that the existing law regulating the engineering profession is outdated and too weak to deliver the intended results and match with what obtains in other countries.
He said the new law is “robust enough” to bring sanity and competitiveness in the engineering profession in the country.
“ In the eyes of the Malawi Congress Party, one major highlight of this bill is the intention to enforce mandatory registration of players in the engineering field for them to be allowed to practice in the country,” Makowa Mwale said.
People’s Party through Dr James Munthali also agreed that the legislation will bring sanity in the engineering section.
“I am saying this, Mr Second Deputy Speaker, Sir, because the way things are happening now, they leave a lot to be desired. I am just coming from Chitipa; driving on the new road which is hardly five years old, the number of potholes you see or indeed the road is just being eaten down there; you really do not understand whether Malawi has any engineers or indeed the foreign engineers, if they were supervised at all,” Munthali said.
He said with the coming of the bill, there will be closer monitoring and supervision of all engineering works.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :