Democracy Works  Foundation commits to connect party leaders and MPs to enhance trust and democratic values

By Dean Chisambo

Democracy Works Foundation has committed to connect  political party leaders and members of parliament in order to improve public trust and legislative function  ahead of commencement of August house for budget session on Friday.

Democracy Works Foundation Deputy director Funny Nthakomwa said this during the workshop  on parliamentary oversight on budget scrutiny which brought together  political parties leaders and members of parliament on Wednesday in Lilongwe.

Nthakomwa lamented that the study which they did highlight some of the issues like lack of coordination in the mainstream parties between party leaders that might be outside parliament and leaders that are in parliament.

Members of different political parties pose a group photograph

She further said members of parliament  need to balance their own interests, the interests of the party as well as that of the nation which is one of the challenges.
Nthakomwa also mentioned other issues that came out of the study  such as members of parliament not being free to deliberate or  to contribute their agenda as they are preparing for the parliamentary agenda.

She said : “political parties  do have a role that they can play in influencing the legislative and oversight function, for  instance; they are issues that would want parties to stand on or a position, if the party leaders are gagging their members,It means they will affect how they will perform in parliament.”

In his  remarks United Democratic Front (UDF) secretary general, Kandi Padambo said the workshop was very important for all political parties to be together and to collaborate on how they are going to ensure oversight on the budget that government is going to present which is  not just important for political parties but the nation as whole.

In her sentiments ,United Transformation Movement (UTM) secretary general  Patricia Kaliati said  the members of parliament are supposed to coordinate with their leadership when they are representing the political parties in parliament on issues of budget and the appropriate bills from the budget .

The Workshop which was  aiming at strengthening or empowering  the leadership of political parties was held when parliament is expected to commence on Friday for the nation budget allocation which brought together political parties coacarse and members of parliament from various parties like Malawi Congress Party(MCP) ,Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), United Transformation Movement (UTM) ,  United Democratic Front (UDF), People’s Party (PP) and Alliance For Democracy (AFORD).

Mthakomwa – the study highlights the lack of coordination