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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 11:50

Poverty a threat to democracy – Mcheka Chilenje

Written by  Aaron Banda

Mchinji, December 12, 2017: First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Esther Mcheka Chilenje has called on Members of Parliament in the country to find ways of ending poverty in Malawi, saying the scourge is a threat to democracy.

Mcheka Chilenje highlighted that when people are poor, they are incapacitated as they fail to fulfill their ambitions.

She made the remarks on Sunday in Mchinji when she presided over the International Day of Democracy.

“As leaders we really need to encourage our people to work hard and find measures on how best we can end poverty in Malawi by reaching them and finding out their needs, and also exploring opportunities on how best we can rectify those problems as we represent them in our respective constituencies,” she said.

She also called for unity among political leaders saying the country cannot develop if there are grudges.

 “Only unity can bring us together and brainstorm to find solutions to our problems despite that we come from different political parties,” said Chilenje.

“Our people have that mandate to call upon their representatives in parliament and hold them accountable on what they are doing and what they promised during the campaign,” she added.

Mcheka Chilenje said ordinary people are able to know what democracy involves, the challenges it faces as well as the opportunities it offers.
She further said the populace also knows the central responsibility that all legislators have as the key institution of democracy and that they can examine and discuss how well parliament performs its democratic functions.

Parliamentary Chairperson for Inter Parliamentary Union, Raphael Mhone who is MP for Nkhata Bay Central said in terms of democracy, Malawi is fairing very well despite some challenges like violation of human rights, gender based violence and early marriages.

He therefore called on the media fraternity and nongovernmental organisations to civic educate communities on what parliament is all about.

“Organisations like NICE has strictly focused more on a narrow role but let them take this other part by educating the masses starting from the village level so that we all understand how democracy works, “he said.

Malawi is a member of different inter-parliamentary organisations like the Inter-Parliamentary Union; Commonwealth Parliament Association; ACP-EU Parliament Assembly; Pan-Africa Parliament and SADC Parliament Forum.

This year on 15th September, 2017 the world cerebrated 20 years from the day of its inception.

Malawi Parliament commemorated the day on Saturday 9th December 2017 at Mchinji Community Centre Ground in the district.


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