Parliament refers Children’s Bill to committees

Malawi Parliament on Thursday referred to its committees a bill which seeks to create a National Children’s Commission just hours after the government shot down the private member’s bill, saying it had no money for such a project.

Inside Malawi Parliament

After a meeting of Business committee, the political leadership of the House, parliament recommended that the bill be referred to Legal Affairs and Social Services committees for further scrutiny.

Lilongwe central MP Robin Lowe, who moved the bill in the 193 strong House, said the government was merely politicizing the bill because it has originated from an opposition member of parliament.

Lowe said he moved the bill to address issues affecting children and how to protect the children.

Gondwe said the government has no money to fund the commission and threw out the bill.

“We have no money from the consolidated fund for such a thing,” he said.

Gondwe said: “ I have not been consulted on this Bill. I would like to say any commission of this nature would have  an imposition on the Consolidated Fund. As such, with the programmes that we have at the moment, this is not time for us to add more bodies to rely on the Consolidated Fund.

“I would therefore, not encourage that we proceed with this Bill.”

Gender,minister Cecilia Chazama said Lowe did not follow the right procedures before tabling the bill.

He said he was warned before hand not to table the bill but he disregarded the advice, saying such bills should be authorized by the government.

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