Ignorance of MP Roles Cause for Concern among Malawian Public
Some concerned Malawians have expressed disappointment at the lack of knowledge among the general population about the roles of members of parliament (MPs).
Malawi: Some concerned Malawians have expressed disappointment at the lack of knowledge among the general population about the roles of members of parliament (MPs), writes Thulani Afrika.
During a phone-in program on Times Radio, listeners evaluated the performance of MPs in the country.
While many praised legislators for their efforts to improve their constituencies, others criticized them for not fulfilling their responsibilities as lawmakers and for passing controversial laws.
One caller said, "It's unfortunate that we are evaluating our members of parliament based on developments happening in our area. That's not their responsibility. We have a crop of illiterate legislators who aren't helping issues, in my opinion. They are failing on their responsibilities of making and challenging laws...we've witnessed the passing of very draconian laws under their watch."
The Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity has also been criticized as a waste of public resources for failing to inform citizens about the roles of MPs. As a result, many people have lost sight of the importance of having MPs in the country.
Another caller said, "It is very unfortunate...involving legislators in development issues is just encouraging corruption. Let these people be educated on the roles of MPs in the country. MPs are lawmakers, not otherwise."
According to Malawi's laws, MPs are required to make laws, participate in debates about the national budget, and discuss important national issues. On the other hand, councillors are responsible for facilitating development activities in their areas.
The former is not expected to be directly involved in development activities in their constituencies, but the latter are.
The Minister of Civic Education, Timothy Mtambo, did not respond to our request for comment at the time of publication.