Speaker explains on Malawi electoral reform bills

Office of the Speaker of Parliament  Richard Msowoya has clarified on the status and process of electoral reforms bill, saying if a bill is not gazetted, Parliament cannot do anything about it regardless of how urgent and important a matter is.

Speaker: Clarifies

In a statement dated 28 November, 2017 , the office of the Speaker said that even if when a Government Bill has been gazetted and is in the public domain, Parliament will only begin debating the Bills 28 days after the date of gazetting according to the Standing Order 125 (2), or when there is a waiver of the 28 days notice requirement through a motion by Government side, which is provided for by Standing Orders 126.

“It must be noted that in all cases, the Business Committee of Parliament which is mandated to examine business items of the House also plays a role in that this is where the Executive, through the Leader of the House, indicates how it intends to priorities any bills from government side. The Speaker and indeed any other Member cannot overrule such prioritization as provided for by Standing Order 47 (3) and buttressed by the requirement of Standing Order 47 (4).”

Through the statement, the office of the Speaker said it wishes to inform the general public and members of the media, in particular, that bills follow the following two procedures  namely Public Bills and Private Member’s Bills.

According to the statement, the bulk of the bills which the Parliament  handles are Public Bills presented on behalf of the Government of Malawi by Cabinet Ministers. Private Members Bills are presented by Members of Parliament in their capacities as Backbenchers.

“Government Bills emanate from the Executive Branch of Government. The Executive branch has its own internal procedures which must be satisfied before the Bills are approved for presentation in the House. Parliament of Malawi only takes over after such an approval which is signalled by the delivery, to the Clerk of Parliament, a soft copy of a particular Bill and sufficient copies of hard copies of a Bill that has been gazetted.

“Private Member’s Bills emanate from private Members as provided for by Standing Order 122. Once a motion moved by a private Member has been adopted by the House it means the House has agreed and authorized that Member to draft and bring in a Bill based on that motion.”

Adding “Parliament only comes in to assist a private Member in drafting of a Private Member’s Bill as provided for by Standing Order 122 (6). Thereafter, a private Member’s Bill follows the same procedures such as the 28 days notice and all the stages in the House before it is passed.”

The statement therefore said that it is very clear from the procedures above, that neither the Speaker nor his Office can introduce a Bill in the House. A Government Bill is introduced by the Government and a Private Member’s Bill by the relevant Member.

The explaination comes after members of the clergy announced to hold a national wide demonstration on 13 December, 2017 especially because of the of President Peter Mutharika and Speaker’s office failure to respond to their petition within a given period.

Over 16 Civil Society Organisations, donors community and opposition parties demand that the bill should be tabled within the current sitting of Parliament.

However, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is said not to like the bill.

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concerned citizen

Delaying tactic from the government side . they have shown the Malawi nation that they don’t want the bill to be tabled for the benefit of the DPP .
Koma tidzaona panthawi yozavota . 5 to 1 loss ija yawatenthetsa mmimba. sakugona nayo tulo.


APA guys tisamude Mr Lebwede lebwede siiye Koma boma ndilimene likuopa kubweresa billyi. Ndozoona ndi olbwedeka mparliament ndikunja komwe Koma bpayekha waysesa a bale.


DPP yaonetseratu kuti siyingawine 2018. Ngakhale maboma onse achoka kapena kulamulila pa Democratic sankawina ndi bingu yekha 2004 anawinadi.
Mufune musafune blangete kundodo wautali kwakamoto. Ngololngolowa basi


I only say gamba kahle msowoya. U will not return to that house. MCP should start identifying a candidate for karonga nyungwe. Mr speaker we don’t need your lecturering here. We have seen your recent conducts. You are a persona non Grata

Don’t worry Hon Speaker. This time around the said requirement to follow procedures for a bill to be tabled in Parliament will be exceptionally waived not by a government member or leader of the house but by public demand on 13th December 2017 whether you like it or not. The power of the gun of police or army will no longer be feared on this day. Ignore this prophecy at your own peril. Be reminded that for the first time in the history of Malawi the clergy as in Public Affairs Committee will lead the entire nation in these mass… Read more »

Mr Speaker, ignore Omex70. He finds pleasure when people are being killed by MCP. Malawians want peace and Tambala wakuda cannot provide such peace. DPP is the answer.

Dipipi wa Yudiefu

Thank you for a very long explanation of what is supposed to be right on processing of bills in parliament. But why did Tembenu, a learned lawyer and minister promise Malawians that this particular bill would be tabled in this seating of parliament?


MCP is just to vocal and noisy. If noise and being vocal would make a party win votes MCP would be in power today. Nanga zakuba madzi muli nazo pati?


From a speaker of parliament to an ordinary person just soon after 2019 elections. We know u will stand as an independent or dpp since MCP does not tolerate nonsense and u will lose to an MCP candidate. Mark my word hon.


There was enough time to go through all these processes but they chose to ignore that because they don’t like the bill. the days are numbers.

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