Dean of law at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College Mwiza Nkhata has spoken on the need to reduce powers conferred on the country’s Head of State.
Nkhata’s observation, in an interview last week, comes against the background of President Peter Mutharika’s promise to trim presidential powers.
Said Nkhata: “I tend to agree with those that feel the President has too much power. It seems when they were formulating the Constitution, they gave most of the important powers to the President.”
During the launch of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) manifesto in April this year, Mutharika promised that his government would reduce the powers of the presidency to enhance the effectiveness of institutions such as Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) and National Audit Office.
In his State of the Nation Address when opening Parliament last month, the President said: “The DPP-led government will reduce concentration of power in the presidency, especially as it relates to the appointment and removal of heads of governance institutions and parastatals.”
Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa could not indicate when the President will fulfil his promise.
“There are procedures that need to be followed and we are just few weeks in government. The President cannot just stop what is required of him without looking at the law,” said the minister.
Nankhumwa said there is a long process to be undertaken to fulfil the President’s wish.
A number of public servants have been replaced since Mutharika came to power on May 30. They include former deputy Inspector General of Police Nelson Bophani, former Malawi Defence Force commander General Henry Odillo, former chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Hawa Ndilowe and Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) commissioner-general John Biziwick.