BLANTYRE (MaraPost)–Public Affairs Committee’s (PAC) all-inclusive stakeholders conference ended on Wednesday with delegates unanimously demanding for the convening Parliament by March 10 to discuss the forensic audit report, the sale and whereabouts of proceeds of both the Presidential jet and ‘rotten maize’.
Delegates were earlier told by Justice Minister Fahad Assani and Finance Minister Dr. Maxwell Mkwezelamba that Parliament would be convened in April, but delegates opposed that it would unconstitutional to convene it after its dissolution on March 20.
Government representatives, mainly Assani tried to reason with the delegates to allow President Joyce Banda (in consultation with the Speaker of National Assembly) to convene Parliament in April, but their efforts proved futile as delegates stood to their ground demanding for immediate convening of Parliament to have some reasonable time to discuss issues national of importance.
Despite Finance Minister Mkwezalamba painting a ‘gloomy. picture’ that there are no funds to support the immediate convening of the House, delegates went ahead to tell the Speaker of National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda, who was in attendance, to advise the Business Committee to meet and come up with the agenda and notifications.
Reverend Dr. Zacc Kawalala of Word Alive Ministries expressed fear that President may not convene the Parliament after its dissolution on March 20 as nobody would ‘twist her arm’ to recall Parliament.
Government side was more deflated when one delegate read out Section 67(4) of the Constitution which says “If, between the dissolution of the National Assembly and the general election that follows, the President if of the opinion that a constitutional criss or emergency has risen which requires urgent legislation or consideration by the National Assembly, he or she may reconvene the National Assembly for that purpose alone but in any event that reconvened National Assembly shall stand dissolved on the date of the general election.”
“You are telling us there funding and Parliament is failing to meet on the basis of lack funds while the President is spending over K30 million each outing to campaign under the banner of development rallies,” observed another delegate.
At this point, Finance of Justice succumbed and committed to deliver the message to the President (Joyce Banda) that Parliament must meet before March 10.
The delegates also recommended for the criminalization of handouts, which according to them, promotes corruption and plunder of public resources and “immediate removal” of Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor Charles Chuka for presiding over mismanagement of public resources, immediate publication of names of individuals and companies involved in the cashgate scam, among others.
They also advised the ministers to tell President to immediately stop the distribution of maize and ensure expedition and conclusion of cashgate cases before general elections.
“Failure to follow all these recommendations, she must step down to pave way for others,” said one delegates, attracting ululation and round of applause from the entire house.
Others accused the Malawi leader and her PP led government of not being transparent and. accountable.