Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa has said as government they have no problems or any fears in bringing the electoral reforms bill for debate in the national assembly.
His remarks come on the back of fears expressed by Leader of Opposition in the house Dr Lazarous Chakwera who appeared to question government’s commitment in bringing the bill to parliament when he addressed the house on Monday in response to the opening remarks made by President Peter Mutharika.
In an interview Nankhumwa said it is premature to talk of the bill and very inappropriate to question government’s commitment on the same since matters of bringing bills to parliament follow standard procedures.
“Each and every bill in the house has its own sponsor who is a Minister, now the Minister of Justice who is in this case the sponsor of this bill was not in the chamber today so we will have to wait until he is back in the chamber.
“There was also talk of a cabinet meeting, but even if cabinet met one is not allowed to divulge cabinet business because it is confidential in nature. So even if cabinet met on Thursday and today is Monday it was still impossible for those bills to be reflected on the order paper today,” said Nankhumwa.
He said it was encouraging that as a house they had agreed on the way forward and he said it was his belief that they are going to live by that until the Minister of Justice comes as a matter of procedure.
“As a leader of government business in the house I will also be anxiously waiting to hear from the Minister of Justice what they are going to bring to the business committee, those are the issues but there are no fears attached to the process,” he explained.
He however, could not be drawn to indicate the particular time he expected the bill to be brought on the floor for debate as he said it was solely the responsibility of the Minister of Justice to set the process in motion.
In his address Chakwera said government is elusive and slippery on the bill and even went further to threaten a boycott of the proceedings if government does not bring the electoral reforms bill to parliament during the current session.