A University of Malawi political expert is calling for the trimming of presidential powers so that the head of state should not appoint a chief executive officer of parliament, saying this is a great threat to democracy.
Political scientist Blessings Chinsinga said it was an anomaly in our Constitution that allowed the head of the executive arm of government to appoint a chief executive officer of parliament, a separate arm of government.
“The DPP should live up to its campaign promises. They promised reduction of presidential powers,” said Chinsinga, who is a professor of political science at Chancellor College, the constituent college of the University of Malawi.
His comments come barely days after President Peter Mutharika said he handpicked Fiona Kalemba as parliament’s clerk of parliament although she came a distant third in interviews conducted y the Parliamentary Service Commission.
Mutharika defended his decision to leave Judge Charles Mhango who came first during the interviews, saying Kalemba is an expert in bill drafting.
The President was parrying away accusations of nepotism, tribalism and regionalism in the appointment of the clerk of parliament, saying the law provides that parliament gives him three names for consideration and gives him powers to appoint the clerk of parliament of his choice.
But Chinsinga said the law needs to e changed as a matter of urgency.
“He should leave the appointment of the clerk of parliament to the Parliamentary Service Commission. It is not healthy that the president should have a say in the appointment if an officer at the National Assembly. This is a threat to democracy. This is a serious anomaly that should be corrected,” said Chinsinga.
incidentally, some section of society also accused the speaker of the Narional Assembly Richard Msowoya, who is also chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission for nepotism and tribalism for favouring Mkandawire.