‘We are here for the people’, APM reminds Parliament

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President Arthur Peter Mutharika has urged Members of Parliament in the country to priotise the wishes of the people as they discharge their day-to-day duties.

President Mutharika at Parliament Building on Friday President Mutharika at Parliament Building on Friday

President Mutharika said this on Friday when he opened the 47th Session of Parliament at the New Parliament Building in Lilongwe.

In an address titled ‘Rising above Macroeconomic Stability’, the Malawi leader said Parliament was an important part of both Government and the people as well as a cornerstone of democracy, which must desist the temptation of considering itself bigger than the other arms of Government.

“We are here to act on behalf of our voters and citizens. And how many of us truly represent the will of the people? How many of us consult the people we represent?

“I have seen times when Members of Parliament represent their parties more than the people. I have seen times when Members of Parliament frustrate Government business that is meant to serve the very people we claim to represent. And I ask again: Why are we here?” said Mutharika.

The President also said that while Parliament exists to maintain oversight of the Executive, it was also important for itself to remain accountable.

The Malawi leader further appealed to the parliamentarians to avoid turning the House into a political battle field.

“I beg to emphasize that we must avoid the hubris we sometimes suffer – the political hubris of thinking that we are more important than the rest of Government. Such political pride can be birth of the tragedy of democracy.

“Far too often Mr. Speaker, we meet here to flex our political muscles. This is not a house for political posturing. This is not our house. Parliament is the house of the people. We are here on the principle of representing the people,” he said.

President Mutharika also seized the moment to welcome the newly elected three members of Parliament, all affiliated to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP); namely Sosten Gwengwe (Lilongwe Msozi North), Ulemu Msungama (Lilongwe City South East) and Lawrence Sitolo (Nsanje Lalanje). He however led the House into a one minute silence following the deaths of former Nsanje Lalanje legislator Sam Ganda, who died in May 2017 and 22 Malawi Defence Force soldiers and cadets who recently lost their lives in a tragic road accident in Mzimba district.

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