By Manasse Nyirenda
Lilongwe, September 10, Mana: President Lazarus Chakwera has said the proposed construction of houses for Members of Parliament in their constituencies would save the country billions in housing allowances the MPs draw.
He was responding to questions from MPs in Parliament when he appeared before it to answer questions as prescribed by law.
Chakwera said while housing was a challenge to public servants, particularly security agencies and teachers, he said his governments approach was holistic.
“While houses for teachers and security agents are priority we are looking at this challenge holistically. We believe that constructing houses for teachers would save the country billions as they draw billions housing allowances,” he said.
The President took time to respond to questions on other important issues of national interest.
Responding to a question from MP for Chikwawa North Owen Chomanika on the President’s commitment to reduce Presidential powers, Chakwera said he was committed to reducing Presidential powers.
He said his government would be proposing legislation that would empower Parliament to interview applicants for the position of Director of Anti Corruption Bureau and forward names of successful interviewees to the President to pick a suitable candidate among others.
On other ceremonial positions such as Chancellorship of Public Universities, the President said it was not in tandem with modern operations of the academia and would do away with such ceremonial powers to empower the academia to train independent thinkers.
In response to a question from MP for Monkey Bay, Ralph Jooma on how administration would ensure that unscrupulous traders do not profit from the affordable farm inputs programme, the President said his government would ensure that there was no room for duping the ordinary Malawians.
The Malawian leader Chakwera added that all unscrupulous traders would be dealt with by the law.
Chakwera is the first President to answer questions before Parliament since former President, Dr Bakili Muluzi.