Continued disruption of business in the National Assembly over legislators’ demands to have their Conditions of Service fulfilled first has angered human rights activists who have accused them of being selfish.
Proceedings in Parliament were on Thursday morning suspended after the issue of conditions of service resurfaced, where among other demands, legislators wanted government to honour their entitlements of K1 million emergency loan and car loan.
Two weeks ago, the matter arose in the House, with the legislators vowing to sabotage the passing of the National Budget over the issue.
But Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo said Section 12 of the Malawi Constitution is clear that the power held by the elected authorities is delegated by the people.
For this reason, he said, it is important that they should be informing constituents clearly before they make any decision that may result in the disruption of proceedings in the House.
He said if their complaint or entitlement is genuine, people would understand and agree with them.
The activist said: “We know that we are going through challenges economically, but government should find ways of fulfilling the conditions of service, or better still, have good negotiation skills.”
Malawi Watch executive director Billy Banda said it is unreasonable for MPs to aim at disrupting business in the House every time they have an issue against government, complaining it is taxpayers that suffer.
Another human rights defender, Billy Mayaya, said MPs were being unreasonable given that teachers and nurses, who get pathetic salaries, have had no consideration in terms of salary increments.
Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe told the House on Thursday that government was agreeable to implementing all the conditions of service, but the MPs seemed not convinced and insisted on the suspension of the proceedings. n