Vice-President Saulos Chilima has called for enhanced collaboration between the Legislature and Executive arms of government, particularly on legislative reforms in parastatals and government ministries.
He wrote this on his Facebook post yesterday morning after meeting Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara, first Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo and second Deputy Speaker Aisha Mambo-Adams and the Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba as part of his ongoing public sector reforms technical meetings.
Chilima said Parliament has been crucial in holding the Executive to account which is why it has three critical roles of representing the electorate, making laws and overseeing the government through hearings and inquiries.
He said: “It is for this reason that for the public sector reforms to have meaningful impact, there must be collaboration between the Legislature and the Executive.
“In fact, as we speak, we have more than 300 pieces of legislation that need amendment to unlock implementation of various reforms.”
The Veep also lauded Parliament on reforms being undertaken, saying they will help build trust with the public and strengthen cooperation with other government arms.
Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, said the reforms also aim to attain the much-needed financial, legal and administrative autonomy for Parliament.
“On reforms on autonomy, I have assured the Speaker of Parliament that His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic, is committed to enhancing Parliament autonomy to achieve the desired separation of powers in practice,” he said.
The reforms Parliament is working on include automation of Parliament registers to reduce absenteeism in the chamber, automation of Hansard transcription, enhancing parliamentary outreach between lawmakers and electorates through establishment of Parliament radio and TV as well as e-Parliament to evolve to paperless transactions.
In a separate interview, Parliament spokesperson Ian Mwenye described the meeting as fruitful.
He said: “In general, the Veep was very supportive and gave guidance on how we should move forward with the projects we are implementing. As Parliament, we are satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.”
The Veep later met with the committee on Government Assurances and Public Sector Reforms to update them on the reforms, solicit their views and highlight their role in ensuring a clear legal framework to drive the reforms agenda.
They have since pledged their commitment to transparency and accountability in carrying out the public sector reforms.