Closing Remarks Of Dr Chakwera On The Rising Of The 3rd Meeting Of 46th Session.

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Mr. Speaker Sir,

I am grateful to God Almighty for the privilege of serving Him and Malawians through this House.

I am grateful to you, Mr. Speaker Sir, your two Deputies and all the Officers who service this House, for ably handling this 2016-17 Budget Meeting of Parliament.

I am grateful for the manner in which this House has demonstrated a measure of level-headedness and unity in tackling challenges we are facing as a nation.

We raised the bar a little higher in deliberating and passing legislation in response to the plight of our brothers and sisters living with albinism as well as protecting the God-given creations and talents of our artists.

We raised the bar a little higher, Mr. Speaker Sir, in debating and passing the budget, despite the budget’s heavy leaning towards consumption, and not production, at a time when we are facing such levels of food insecurity like never seen before.

Mr. Speaker Sir,

I was chided by a good friend who told me that in the context of a declared national disaster status, Parliament should not be passing a budget that includes procurement of new vehicles for the Presidency as if Malawians will eat and survive on the presidential fleet.

And as honorable members of this house, we too, have not always been as honorable, judging firstly by some of our priorities, and secondly, by the unacceptably high levels of absenteeism.

 

Mr. Speaker Sir,

We need to rethink our priorities and diligently attend parliamentary sessions as Malawians mandated us.

Mr. Speaker Sir,

I want to sincerely commend and acknowledge the huge role played by the Opposition yet again, in this session.

The well-researched evidence-based arguments, pro-poor stances on matters of national interest plus putting national interests over self interest, all combined to effectively check, balance and tame excesses by the Executive.

This is what Malawians expect of us, as the government in waiting.

The support of the Independents, as well as one or two lone but very courageous and patriotic voices from the government side, truly contributed to making this meeting successful.

My plea, Mr. Speaker Sir is for the House to review its Standing Orders with regard to times allotted for deliberations of crucial issues of national building, protection of its citizens and sovereignty.

Mr. Speaker Sir,

I implore members from both sides of the aisle to meditate and ponder on their roles as representatives of the people who sent us to this House to make their lives better.

Let us ask ourselves if we are indeed serving Malawians as their faithful servants or whether we are just seat warmers, allowance receivers, and self-aggrandising hand-clappers.

Let me conclude my remarks, Mr. Speaker Sir, by saying that the independence of the ACB, the Auditor General and Parliament and the Electoral Reforms, is imperative.

As Opposition we shall continue to push for legislation to make sure that the fight against corruption and the mismanagement of Malawi’s finances is won.

To the Executive, I want to reiterate that singing about reforms will not change the status of Malawians for the better. Malawians are demanding action, action and action.

With respect to the National IDs project, I dare the Executive to go beyond tokenism and have every Malawian registered.

To my fellow honorable Members, let us not just pass meaningless motions in this House, but let us make legislation that makes possible a better and prosperous Malawi.

As we rise today, I want to put it on record that I am not happy to see our diligent legislators, Hon. Jessie Kabwila and Hon. Louis Chakhwantha leaving the chamber now and then to report to the Police on a case that should have been dropped.

Why do we continue wasting precious time and resources on non-profitable exercises of this nature which serve nothing but political egos?

In the same vein, I call for national conversation on what benefits we are reaping, as a nation, by wasting resources over a period of ten years, trying a former President and failing to conclude the case. Former President Bakili Muluzi and Malawians deserve better because justice delayed, is justice denied.

While on the same issue, I want to urge the Executive to meet all the requirements so that former President Joyce Banda can return home without fear of the unknown. Let us end speculation, stop needless confrontation and insensitivity and behave as civilised beings.

We owe it to ourselves and to the generations ahead.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir

God Bless us All.

 

Lazarus Chakwera

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