The Anglican Diocese of Southern Malawi has blamed politicians for blowing away an opportunity to develop the three branches of government as distinct when Joyce Banda ascended to the presidency technically as an independent President last year.
The church, in a statement issued at the end of its Seventh Synod Meeting held from April 13 to 14, said following the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika last year, Malawi had Banda as a President without members of Parliament (MPs) and thus independent of the Legislature and vice-versa.
Reads the statement in part: “[But] due to misguided political gamesmanship, the Legislature en masse baptised itself opposition… This to us was and is a demonstration of fear of taking responsibility for decisions they make and fear of the responsibility that comes with the realisation that they can actually influence the governance of this country without taking partisan credit.
“They abdicated in favour of cheap political shots at their own shadow. They failed and continue to fail, to see that they too have the responsibility of curbing what seems to us to be the excessive influence of the Executive on the Legislature.”
The statement, produced by the bishop, priests and the laity in the diocese, said this was a God-given opportunity for the country to taste what it would be like if Malawians had an independent President.
The statement adds: “No wonder, the flurry of floor-crossing even when there was no floor to cross! Nation first, seems to be a foreign concept to our MPs. Altruism and the common good can wait while we slurp the gravy’ seems to be the mantra.
“Where are the politicians of nerve and principle? It seems they are wedded to repeating the mistakes of the past [Aford, UDF splits in the early 2000s for example].
“This is deja vu. We also saw it in the wake of Bingu’s fallout with UDF. We remind all politicians that the turncoat habit prevalent among them is unhelpful for nation building and good governance. It exposes their lack of principle and erodes their integrity.”
Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) executive director Rafiq Hajat supported the statement, adding the situation is fuelled by total avoidance to respect the rule of law, including the manner Section 65 has been handled.
Hajat said politicians are largely opportunistic and coupled by failure to implement Section 65, the legislators have been changing parties as they please.