Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly, Richard Msowoya says Malawi Parliament through its ‘Bringing Parliament to People Programme’ is committed to strengthening democracy at grassroot level.
Msowoya was speaking recently in Nkhata Bay during a stakeholders meeting on Bringing Parliament to People Programme.
He said the programme aims at civic educating Malawians on how Malawi Parliament operates and what is expected of the Members of Parliament in order to clarify people’s misunderstanding on the roles of Parliament.
“Through this initiative, Parliament cements its relationship with people and it is through the same that Parliament gets opinions and inputs from Malawians, thereby allowing them to participate in harnessing democracy and running the country,” said Msowoya.
He said most people do not know the roles of Members of Parliament (MP), observing that most people think responsibilities of Members of Parliament are to make donations, pay school fees for the needy as well as assisting people when they are bereaved.
“Members of Parliament are there to enact legislations for the good of the nation, to maintain oversight of the Executive on behalf of the people of Malawi, debate and pass government budget,” he said.
Speaking during the meeting, Senior Traditional Authority M’bwana commended the Malawi National Assembly for the initiative, saying it would go a long way in clarifying peoples’ misconceptions on the operations of Parliament and roles of the MP.
“There are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions surrounding the roles of Parliament and therefore, it is good that you know how it operates through its interaction with local communities through this programme,” said M’bwana.
Earlier, Nkhata Bay District Commissioner, Rodney Simwaka said there was a huge knowledge gap amongst the local people on Parliament operations and its mandate and therefore asked the Malawi National Assembly to scale up such meetings across the country