First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Madalitso Kazombo has called on parliamentary committee chairpersons to take sessions seriously and plan their activities if their oversight work is to be good.
Speaking during the opening of a one-week orientation for committee chairpersons in Lilongwe on Monday, Kazombo said he expects the chairpersons to be vigilant and hard-working to avoid being dethroned.
He said: “You need to take the sessions seriously. From here on, you will be on your own. Please take the sessions as part of the job ahead of you. Sometimes people have failed because of poor planning.
“Parliament, being a democratic society, has living examples of chairpersons that were dethroned from their positions for failing to deliver. In this cohort, we do not want to produce chairpersons of that state.”
The workshop has come at a time when Parliament expects all parliamentary committees to start transacting their business; hence, the orientation to equip them with the skills and knowledge on how to manage committee work.
Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee chairperson WelaniChilenga has since described the workshop as an eye-opener, saying what they are learning will help strengthen the relationship between the chairpersons and their deputies, which was not good in the last cohort.
He said: “It’s an eye-opener as most of the chairpersons are new, it will also bridge the gap that was there between chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and committee members, I hope going forward, committee work will be more enhanced than before.”
Chilenga’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) counterpart Ken Kandodo said the training will equip the committee leaders to do their work effectively.
“It’s been an enlightening experience. We are ready to pick up the task our friends left and the legacy they left, we will continue from where our colleagues left from because ours is a very important committee to oversight the government accounts,” he said.
Parliamentary committees are established according to Standing Order 148 of the Parliament of Malawi for the scrutiny and oversight functions.