Group village headman Walamba from the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu in Karonga has challenged electoral stakeholders in the country to bring back the recall provision law to empower communities to fire under-performing parliamentarians.
The village headman made the challenge during plenary session at a civic and voter awareness campaign meeting the country’s Pollster, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioner Linda Kunje organised for traditional leaders at Mlare aimed at wooing voters to vote in large numbers in the coming by-election slated for November 10 to reduce voter apathy null and void votes.
Walamba noted that Parliamentarians during campaign promise the electorates the moon but once ushered into power, they vanish into thin air and become untouchable.
He said: “We are tired of being lied to by these politicians. Is it not possible for the electorates to be given the mandate through section 64 to fire Parliamentarians who fail to deliver their manifestos? Otherwise we are taken for a ride”.
In an interview, Walamba justified his question, saying it is high time Parliamentarians walked their manifesto talk.
“If the recall provision was effective, believe you me, our Parliamentarians would be nurturing developments and accountable to constituents,” he said.
According to Parliamentary documents, the section was repealed on the understanding that the provision may encourage witch-hunting and lead to abuse by constituents
However, Kunje who chairs the Commission’s administration and finance committee said the recall provision issue is crosscutting, saying since it was repealed in 1995, it has never been brought back and it will require the MEC Commissioners through electoral stakeholders to see if it is viable to revisit the Constitution and re-introduce the piece of legislature to enhance performance.
At the meeting, Kunje implored the traditional leaders to amplify the message to their subjects to enable them vote for their preferred candidate who will in turn bring them their developmental needs, saying it is everyone’s constitutional right to vote.
“After noting the international by-election voting pattern and Malawi in particular, we decided to engage the clergy and traditional leaders so that they use their influential voice to coax the people they serve in the community to patronise the forth coming by-election. Staying away from voting is detrimental as the decision may put a wrong person on the seat,” she said.
The Commissioner further urged the community leaders to preach peace to both the youth and Parliamentary candidates to avoid instigating violence, saying it is an enemy of development.