BLANTYRE -- A three day Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Parliamentary Forum opened on Monday in Malawi with a call on delegates to transform the forum into a regional legislative body.
Malawi’s Speaker of the National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda told the delegates that the forums prime goal is to have a fully fledged parliamentary body that will have legislative powers just like the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) and the Ecowas Parliament.
Banda observed that the absence of such body in the region is a missing ink in their integration efforts.
“Today, more than ever before, there are exists a sense of urgency to transform our organization from being consultative one to being a legislative one,” told the delegates Banda.
However, State Vice president Khumbo Kachali, who was the guest of honor, observed that although members in previous meetings welcomed a Sadc proposal on Gender and Development, there has been stagnation in politics, saying women are not being incorporated in decision making positions.
“What we are calling for through gender equality and women empowerment is not for women to be extended favours, women do not need that. We only want a level playing field so that we can show our worth in serving the Sadc citizenry,” stated State Vice President Kachali.
He also noted that the region has made recommendable strides in economic integration by forming a Free Trade Area (FTA), but said the forum is yet to form a custom union due to multiple memberships to various economic communities, among others.