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MCP President Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s remarks in Parley

Chakwera

Fellow Malawians,

As Parliament was rising today, I know you felt the sunshine of hope is setting over Malawi. As I stood to make my closing remarks, I felt the weight of our collective failure as your representatives in this sitting of Parliament. To be sure, as history will show that in this hour of great consequence there were those of us who took a stand for your interests and acted in favor of Electoral reforms to give you more power over your choice of who governs you, it will also show that our patriotic efforts were frustrated by members of Parliament who did everything in their power to frustrate this noble cause by their opposition to it and to sabotage it by their absence from the House when it mattered. But in the end, we are representatives of one people, which is why I feel the failures of the House as my own, my efforts to prevent it notwithstanding.

Even so, Fellow Malawians, I share your astonishment at the members of Parliament who have blocked the mere reading of a key legislation that is designed to make our democracy stronger. Even more astonishing is the fact that they have done so without even giving Malawians a chance to vote on it through their representatives. And since there are three branches of government, with this legislative branch being the only one through which the people of Malawi have a vote in every decision the House makes, the shooting down of a bill before the people’s representatives even debate and vote on it is not only a self-contradictory act because the bill has been rejected by the same people who presented it, but it is also a self-maledictory act because those members have harmed themselves by silencing the only branch of government where they and their people have a voice. In effect, pro-DPP MPs have succeeded in cutting down the branch that they themselves are sitting on, expecting someone else to fall.

They have demonstrated that they are in no frame of mind to listen to sound reasoning justifying these reforms, or to listen to the Law Commission that drafted these reforms, or to listen to Malawians demanding these reforms, or to listen to development partners recommending these reforms, or to listen to chiefs promoting these reforms, or to listen to clergy lobbying for these reforms, or to listen to their own constituents crying for these reforms. In fact, they clearly do not even listen to their own party President’s manifesto, which makes it very clear “The DPP Government will guarantee the right to vote to change the political system, including the government or representatives.”

So Fellow Malawians, let it be written for posterity that by succeeding at frustrating these reforms, the DPP has failed not just the country and its constituents, but also their own governing blueprint. President Mutharika’s MPs have chosen to cut off their noses to spite their own faces. So all of you Malawians have every right to wonder if the courts which sent Wandale for psychiatric treatment sent the wrong Wandale. Even so, I appeal to you not to give up, for despite those that are determined to keep us stuck in the past by defending the status quo, I know that all of you share my conviction that we have no other place to take our country but forward, AFUNE ASAFUNE!

God bless you and God bless Malawi,

Lazarus Chakwera.

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