Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.679627
Title: The vertical and horizontal accountability in the Malawi parliamentary democracy
Author: Kameme, Webster Siame
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 8753
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
…the future is that; I think we have hit rock bottom and that the only way we can go now is not down but up. I have hope. I have told Malawians that we need to look into the future with hope and I know that we shall be fine. What I am implying here is that ultimately what is going to save democracy in Malawi is the willingness by Malawians to protect themselves and preserve the freedoms and rights which they have…, (President, Joyce Banda, 2011). The thesis of this study is that the Malawi Parliament ought to be the hub of vertical and horizontal accountability in legislation, representation and oversight roles. Salih, (2005, p.3) states that parliaments are caught between fulfilling the governance role and acting as part of government. Therefore, in order to effectively fulfil this objective, parliament must be supported, (Ma Ngok, in Siu-Kai, 2002). However, the study notes that the Malawi Parliament has a high executive influence; no policy making power with minimal legislative viscosity, (Norton, 2005, 1990; Polsby, 1975; Mezey, 1979 and Blondel, 1973). Consequently, it is argued with empirical data that since the 1994 multiparty election, parliament has not been effective in its vertical and horizontal accountability roles, (Lindberg, 2009). In the horizontal accountability, parliament plays an inter-governmental role of the executive oversight as well as that of checks and balance, (Stapenhurst and O’Brien, 2011, p. 3). In the vertical, parliament is held accountable through its elected members by its voters, stakeholders and the civil society, (Chirwa and Nijzink, 2012, p.6). It is argued that when voters (principals) delegate their decision-making power to parliament (agent), the principal must have mechanisms in place of holding the agent(s) accountable for their actions or lack of it and if necessary, impose sanctions or remove the agent from power, (Strom, 1999, pp. 7, 8). In every developed democracy, government policies and services are demand driven; sanctioned, monitored and evaluated by the legislature (Lupia and McCubbins, 1999, p. 4). Using empirical data, the study observed that although the Malawi Parliament has made significant reforms towards regaining its independence and autonomy from the executive, it still continues to be seen as a legitimatisation and sometimes rubberstamping institution, (Nyamongo, 2010; Chinsinga, 2007; Patel, 2007). The contributory factors were both intrinsic and extrinsic such as lack of institutional capacity as well as political will by the executive to support a greater parliamentary autonomy. Thus, the study recommends that the Malawi Parliament institutes a human resource development programme in order to improve the technical capacity of legislative support staff as well as MPs; increase funding and strengthen parliamentary committee system for higher scrutiny as well as a wider stakeholder consultation at every stage of the legislative process; The study also recommends that appointments of directors in auxiliary governance agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Electoral Commission of Malawi, and the Human Rights Commission shift from the presidency to parliament. It is the assumption of this study that increasing parliamentary oversight potential promotes democracy and good governance, (Pelizzo and Stapenhurst, 2007, p.13).
Supervisor: Norton, Philip ; Leston-Bandeira, Cristina Coutinho Sponsor: University of Hull
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.679627  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Politics
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