Let MEC Take over Sec 65 Implementing Powers: All Speakers Have Failed Us-Blessings Chinsinga

Blessings Chinsinga:Speakers Are Politicians Who Could Be Partisan In Their Implementation

Delegates to the consultative meeting with the Malawi Electoral Commissioners (MEC) recently recommended that the electoral body should take over the implementation powers of the controversial Section 65 of the Republic of Malawi Constitution.

Chancellor College based political scientist Blessings Chinsinga revealed this today, saying delegates were of the views that National Assembly Speakers in the three regimes of Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika and now Joyce Banda have disappointed Malawians by their failure to implement the section.

Speakers Are Always Under Pressure From Their Parties:  Chimunthu Banda (left) In DPP Regalia

“Speakers are politicians who could be partisan in the implementation of the section. They belong to a particular political party that could be an interested party at that given time, hence affecting their judgment in the implementation of the section,” Chinsinga told a local radio station today.

Chinsinga also observed that speakers are always under the pressure from the executive arm of government, especially if the arm is the victim.

Implementation of Section 65 of the Constitution has remained controversial in Malawi since the attainment of democracy in 1993. Up to date, Fred Nseula and Brown Mpinganjira remained the only victims of the section, with the rest of others managing to elude it through court injunctions.

During the last sitting of parliament, Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda failed to make a ruling on the petition by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the piece of legislation, arguing the DPP did not furnished him evidence substantiating its allegation.

Parliament Building: Stage of Section 65 Controversy

The DPP petitioned Chimunthu Banda asking him to declare vacant seats of over 40 MPs that have ditched the party and joined the ruling Peoples Party (PP), following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, which subsequently meant the fall out of Government of the DPP.

However, political scientist Gerald Chigona described the speaker’s ruling as ridiculous. Chimunthu Banda again failed to rule on the controversial section after a court injunction obtained by Ntcheu West MP Chikumbutso John Hiwa at the Lilongwe High Court was served on his desk.

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and other legal experts described the injunction as unfortunate.

PAC Publicist Reverend Maurice Munthali said they will continue advocating for the application of the section by the speaker. And legal expert Garton Kamchezera had this to say: “The injunction is another sad episode in the country’s constitutional history. Section 65 is clear, and I would like to believe that the injunction is only meant to buy time.”

 President Banda(right):Her Govt In Dilemma On Implementing The Section

At a public debate organised by Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) on the section, the Executive Director of Women and Law Society of Southern Africa (Wilsa) Malawi Chapter Seodi White said the ruling Peoples Party (PP) of President Joyce Banda should prove its claims that it is a constitutional adhering government by letting Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda invoke Section 65 of the Constitution against parliamentarians deemed to have crossed the floor.

White was directly responding to the PP Deputy Publicist Ken Nsonda who had claimed that his party has come to clear filthy left behind by the DPP, at a live debate on Section 65 on Tuesday night.

The section also wrecked havoc during the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s 2004-2009 term when the opposition United Democratic front (UDF) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) formed a majority block to hold the passing of the national budget against the section.

Late President Bingu Wa Mutharika(centre): His Govt Also Failed to Implement The Section 

This forced the civil society organisation to hold vigils at parliament to force the opposition, then in majority, to soften their stand. During the Bakili Muluzi regime, the section saw the firing of Fred Nseula.

Brown Mpinganjira, former Mulanje Central parliamentarian also experienced the bitter bite of the section when he had formed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which was meant to oppose Muluzi’s third term and open tern bids.

5 Responses to "Let MEC Take over Sec 65 Implementing Powers: All Speakers Have Failed Us-Blessings Chinsinga"

  1. nachisale  August 10, 2012 at 8:27 am

    MEC has also been biased since Muluzi’s rule through Mutharika’s reign and it is a matter of time that the electoral body will show its total support for PP. And this is all because commissioners are not independent minded and if they were to dare they would lose their jobs. Those who are advocating that MEC take over Sec 65 are either ignorant of Malawi politics or are just trying to be in the headlines. Please, stop being silly.

  2. Bill  August 10, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I like the pictures, Joice poses with Hillary and Bingu poses with namandwa, President wa America weni weniyo osati Minister.

  3. kmabodza  August 10, 2012 at 7:37 am

    A Planned injunction can go to MEC as well.

  4. chipapwiche  August 10, 2012 at 12:46 am

    What does the sitting government have to do with section 65? Isn’t this game played in parliament? Who are the players of the game? Please MPs get the phrasing of Section 65 corrected so that we do not have injunctions anymore.

  5. Chembe  August 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Dr chinsinga and comrades don’t try to create another mess here.for your info these mec commissioners are appointed by politicians(president) and as the speakers are perceived to be serving sitting presidents what will stop the mec from serving him/her too.


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