Speaker fears for institutional memory loss at Malawi Parliament

The Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda has expressed fears for loss of institution memory at the august House due to the prevailing trend where more than half of the sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) do not retain their seats in an election.

The Malawi Parliament has 193 seats and while in 1999 elections some 61 members returned back in the Chambers, only 49 made it during the 2004 elections, and the Speaker is wary that the movement might take its toll during the forthcoming tripartite elections.

“One of the impact that comes with such a trend is loss of institutional memory, otherwise this is a house of records and there are so many unwritten practices that members follow and all this goes when sitting legislators do not retain seats,” said Chimunthu Banda.

Chimunthu: Fears  institutional memory loss
Chimunthu: Fears institutional memory loss

But the outgoing Speaker has some relief for the current parliamentarians, if what he told Commonwealth Parliamentary Association workshop for Agriculture Committees in Malawi capital Lilongwe, that he was praying and fasting for incumbent legislators to return to the house after the May 20 tripartite polls, is anything to go by.

Chimunthu Banda who last year puzzled the nation when he announced that he was taking a sabbatical leave from politics was however quick to point out that the development, sad though, could be the voice of the people who are masters of the parliamentarians.

Malawi goes to the polls on May 20 where the democracy of the country will once again be tested.

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