LILONGWE-(MaraviPost): The newly elected Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)’s Women Parliamentary Caucus Chairperson, Dr. Jessie Kabwira has emphasized the need for Malawi Parliament to start using local languages during debates in order to narrow the gap that exists between policy makers and communities on the ground.
The call comes just a few weeks after some quarter of the society especially from the northern region pleaded with lawmakers to consider deliberating their debates in local languages for an effective communication.
Kabwira who is Malawi Parliament Committee’s Chairperson on Women Caucus and a Member of Parliament for Salima North West Constituency made the call on her arrival from the sidelines of the SADC Parliamentary Forum which Malawi and other 12 countries held last week in Ezulwini, Swaziland.
Dr. Kabwira who is also MCP’s spokesperson told journalists in the capital Lilongwe that the conference agreed to advocate the use of vernacular for Parliament debates if the region is to benefit from its quest for social-economic growth between member states’ policy makers and implementers.
“You find that all policy document and deliberations are done in English, and yet only a few of us can analyze and translate them into practice and usage to the general public who most of them don’t understand due to high illiteracy levels.
“It’s high time therefore our Parliament started conducting deliberations in a language most accessible to our voters in rural areas where we are operating from. The use of vernacular has taken grounds in other countries including South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana which are in SADC. So, why not with Malawi? This the reason I’m setting the ball rolling that the rest of members in the August House can buy the ideas as soon as possible”, urges Kabwira.
Kabwira was unanimously elected as the Chairperson for Southern Africa Development Committee (SADC)’s Parliamentary Women Caucus after beating other two contestants from South Africa and Tanzania.
And her nomination comes barely a week after party demoted her in Malawi Parliament seating arrangement from position one to 79 which other quarters of the society has questioned the wisdom behind the move based on the influence Kabwira has to the party politics and on the ground.
The Salima North West lawmaker has taken over the position from Mozambique and together with her deputy Hon Mutsvangwa of Zimbabwe to run the office for two years.