This 2014 new parliament looks it will be a serious one unlike the one headed by Chimunthu Banda of the DPP, which infamously passed several bad laws much to the chagrin of Malwians and donors.
Although this new august house will be composed of different characters—from a former First Lady, comedian, musicians, academics, some illiterates who may not even speak afraid of expressing themselves in the Queen’s language, the beauty is that the ruling party has failed to secure a simple majority.
With Lazarus Chakwera of MCP as leader of opposition, the news Speaker will have tough times managing the parley. It will be probably to the advantage of Malawi as no stupid bills will be allowed to pass through.
All eyes of Malawians are at parliament—they want to see what kind of Speaker will lead the proceedings. Are we going to have a Speaker—as has been the past—who will hide in the catchy words “my hands are tied” because he was so partisan that he could use Section 65 ?
Are we going to have a Speaker who will allow stupid bills—remember them?—change of flag, allowing police to search people without warrant and enactment of media laws.
This was a bit of insanity by the DPP to push through such bills, only to be reversed by the JB administration. In Malawi, it has been proven that when a ruling party is in majority, it augurs badly at parliament.
Are we going to see the new Speaker use the powers of parliamentary laws and allow the judiciary to indicate the rules of the august house? Is Section 65 going to be respected this time around? What about the other sections that border on constitutionalism?
One group of people that will get the attention of Malawians is that of independents.52 of them. Let them remain independents, although some of them seem to be clever by saying they will “work with the government”—or the DPP.
Can they influence the proceedings of parliament? Can they help to block stupid bills? Will they go to bed with the opposition or the DPP?
The names that are coming for the post are to me not impressive. Of course the new speaker will have to come from the elected lawmakers.
There was talk of MCP’s Jessie Kabwila. For me, she may be a firebrand, but she is too emotional for that position. You will need a sober mind to be a Speaker. Richard Msowoya of MCP? Well, he can be tried. Joseph Njobvuyalema of MCP? An old hand and experienced, but I doubt his political maturity and impartiality.
So, its likely the position will be grabbed by an MCP lawmaker.
Atupele Muluzi? No, let him rebuild his yellow outfit after a poor showing. Who else? Yes, God, and not TB Joshua, will show us the way.
But one would surely wish parliament the best. No more stupid bills.