As I was making this entry, Parliment was expected to rise yesterday. The meeting was as good a time as any for constituents to reflect on the kind of leaders Malawians put in the House in 2014.
As the countdown to 2019 begins and the will of the people in changing the landscape of elections conduct in the country heats up, members of Parliament have told the people of Malawi that they will put their interests before that of the people that put them in power.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the government honoured its commitment to table the Electoral Reforms Bills and as it turned out, that’s as far as the government was willing to do.
From the onset, it became clear that the commitment was merely cosmetic, meant to fool the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) into a false sense of security.
On the face of it, the Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu seemed to be in agreement with the content of the bills that he was presenting, but what the opposition realised, too late, was that the government had no intention of passing the Bills.
One after another the Bills were tabled and the Minister of Justice appealed for support of the House knowing fully well his own side would reject the proposals.
As the opposition proposed amendments on the understanding of give-and-take, the government had no such intention.
From the voting pattern in the House, it can be concluded without a doubt that they had no idea what they were voting for except what the leaders of the party had told them.
For sure, those MPs did not read the reasoning behind the bills as concisely outlined in the Malawi Special Law Commission report.
You have MPs who vote against matters in Parliament without an inkling of what it is they are opposing, voting like headless chickens.
It would be folly to assume that the MPs are not voting with their conscience, because from the shouting and excitement from the government that has followed the defeat of bills, they do not know the implication of the voting against their own bills.
This was as good time as any that this Parliament should move towards implementing a secret ballot system; that perhaps the MPs would vote with their conscience.
In times like these when the MPs have thrown integrity to the dogs and serving the interests of their constituents comes secondary, the will of the people must speak.
It baffles the mind that government MPs can categorically reject legislation moved by their own government.
The government MPs were in essence saying the drafting process at the Ministry of Justice was flawed and that a whole Cabinet that presided over the deliberations of the bill and approved them for tabling had failed in their job.
Clearly, the conspiratory nature of politics in Parliament has left a sour taste in the mouths of the opposition MPs.
But then again, that is what politics is about and the Democratic Progressive Party has played the game well, at the expense of the future of how elections are conducted in this country. n