Saturday, March 30, 2013
The Standing Orders of the Malawi Parliament
(THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO MICHEL MTAMBALIKA PHIRI'S REQUEST FOR PARLIAMENTARY STANDING ORDERS)
ARRANGEMENT OF RULES RULE PART I – PRELIMINARY 1. Short title and commencement 2. Announcement PART II – DEFINITIONS 3. Definitions PART III – SESSIONS OF PARLIAMENT, MEETINGS AND SITTINGS OF THE ASSEMBLY
4. Sessions of Parliament
5. Meetings of Assembly
6. Sittings of the House
7. Variation of sitting times
8. Emergency or extra-ordinary sitting
PART IV – SUSPENSION OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE
9. Suspension at the discretion of the Speaker
10. Suspension in other cases
PART V - ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE
11. Automatic adjournment
12. Adjournment without notice or question put
13. Adjournment Motion
14. Matter of urgent national importance
15. Adjournment of debate
16. Adjournment of the House
17. Limit of business
18. Adjournment sine die
19. Resumption of interrupted debate
PART VI – QUORUM
20. Quorum of the Assembly
21. Procedure where quorum not present
PART VII – PROCEDURE ON A NEW SESSION OF PARLIAMENT
22. First meeting following a general election
23. New Session following prorogation
24. Election of Speaker
PART VIII – ELECTION AND REMOVAL OF SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKERS
25. Nomination papers
26. Presentation of candidates for selection
27. Clerk to prepare Ballot Papers
28. Manner of voting
29. Declaration of results
30. Process to identify successful candidate
32. Speaker led into the Chamber
33. Election of Deputy Speakers
34. Vacancy in the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker
35. Removal by the House
36. Notice to be placed on the Order Paper
37. Speaker or Deputy Speaker not to preside
PART IX – LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
38. Election of Leader of the Opposition
39. Removal of Leader of the Opposition
PART X - THE SPEAKER AND ADMINISTRATION IN THE CHAMBER
40. General authority
41. Speaker to preside
42. Deputy Speaker to chair
43. A member of the Chairperson’s Panel to preside
PART XI – MEMBERS’ SEATS AND ATTENDANCE
44. Seating in the Chamber
45. Member to speak from allocated seat
46. Members’ roll
47. Leave of Absence
PART XII – CLERK AT THE HOUSE AND DUTIES AT THE TABLE
48. The Clerk
49. Duties of the Clerk
PART XIII – RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
50. Votes and Proceedings
51. Official Report
52. Access to Journals and Records
PART XIV – BUSINESS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE
53. Order Paper
54. Order of Business
55. Reading of orders of the day
56. Changes to orders of the day
57. Privilege motions to take precedence
58. Communication from the President
59. Communication from the Chair
PART XV – DELEGATION REPORTS
60. Presentation of reports
PART XVI – PETITIONS AND PAPERS
61. Rules for, form and content of petition
62. No letters or affidavits to be attached
63. No reference to debate
64. Petition to be signed
65. Petition to be deposited for examination
66. Day of presentation on specific day
67. Member to ascertain authenticity and propriety of petition
68. Mode of presentation
69. Presentation of Papers
70. Record and custody of papers
71. Access to Papers
PART XVII – QUESTIONS
72. Questions to Ministers for oral replies
73. Rotation of Questions on the Order Paper
74. Restriction on Bodies
75. Procedure during question time
76. Supplementary questions
77. Limitations on the right to ask questions
78. Speaker to decide on admissibility of questions
79. Withdrawal of Questions
80. Questions by private notice
81. Failure to ask or answer a question
82. Questions to the President
83. Numbering of questions
84. Question Record Book
PART XVIII – STATEMENTS AND PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS
85. Ministerial Statements
86. Constituency Statement by Members
87. Personal explanation
PART XIX – PROCESS AND RULES OF DEBATE MOTIONS AND AMENDMENT
88. Notice of such motions 89. Contents of notice
90. Member may amend notice
91. Notice before Business Committee
92. When a motion may be moved
93. Motion not moved when called on
94. Same motion 95. Motions not called
96. Seconding of motions
97. Debate out of order
98. Questions on motions
99. Questions put after Amendments
100. Withdrawal of motion
101. Motions without notice
102. Improper Motion
103. Form of amendments and seconding
104. Notice of Amendments 105. Questions put on proposed amendments
106. Restrictions on amendments to be moved 107. Closure motion
108. Reply closes debate
109. Member not to speak after question put
110. Minister to respond 111. Form and manner of debate
112. Member speaking not to be interrupted
113. Member may speak again
114. Member not to read speech
115. Spokesperson to be heard uninterrupted
PART XX – ORDER AND DISORDER
116. Order kept by Speaker or Chair
117. Security checks 118. Firearms or offensive weapons
119. Members to recognize authority of the Speaker
120. Members moving in the Chamber
121. No Member to be referred to by name
122. Members wishing to speak
123. When interruption of Member allowed
124. Point of Order
125. Use of certain names
126. Conduct of the President and Vice-President
127. Conduct of Speaker and other Office-bearers
128. Reflections on Members
129. Reference to Committee Report
130. Matter already decided
131. Accuracy of facts
132. Unparliamentary language
133. Disorderly conduct
134. Intervention by Speaker
135. Sanctions against disorderly conduct
136. Suspended Member to forfeit allowance
137. Reprieve for Member suspended
138. House suspended or adjourned for grave disorder
139. Sergeant-at-Arms to remove persons
PART XXI – VOTING
140. Member with material interest not to vote
141. Majority voice vote
142. When division may be taken
143. Procedures for a division
144. Member to vote in a division
145. Casting vote
146. Division held twice
147. Deliberate vote
148. Division in Committee
149. Secret ballot
150. Electronic voting
151. Incapacity to vote
PART XXII – BILLS AND BILL PROCEDURE
152. Initiation of Bills
153. Government Bill
154. Private Members’ Bill
155. Officer assisting in drafting to maintain bill confidentiality
156. Private Bills
157. Publication of Bills
158. Waiver of Notice
159. First Reading
160. Second Reading
161. Committee Stage
162. Proposed amendments
163. Report Stage
164. Third Reading
165. Passage of Bill by fixed majority
166. Printing of Bill and Presidential assent
PART XXIII – COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
167. Procedure in Committee of the Whole House
PART XXIV – FINANCIAL PROCEDURE
168. Restrictions on financial Bills
169. Annual Estimates
170. Debate on Estimates
171. Deputy Speaker to preside
173. Focus of debate
174. Minister to report
175. Appropriation Bill
176. Laying of Supplementary Estimates
177. Appropriation (Development) Bill
178. Minister of Finance to move motion
179. Supplementary Appropriation Bills
PART XXV – COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
180. Establishment of Committees
181. Duration of Committees
182. Functions of Committees
183. Powers of Committees
184. Membership of Committees
185. Questions regarding competence
186. Joint consideration by Committees
187. Business Committee
188. Functions of the Business Committee
189. Public Appointments Committee
190. Budget Committee
191. Legal Affairs Committee
192. Defence and Security Committee
193. Public Accounts Committee
194. Committee on Subsidiary Legislation
195. Committee of Chairpersons
196. Portfolio or Departmentally Related Committees
PART XXVI – OPERATION OF COMMITTEES
197. Rules for House to apply to Committees with modifications
200. Proceedings and sittings of Committee
201. Chairpersons of Committees
202. Removal of Chairperson
203. Procedure for Committees
204. Division in Committees
205. Witnesses and evidence
206. Questions to witnesses and objections
207. Irrelevant and unjustified allegations
208. Opportunity to reply to allegation
209. Transcripts of evidence 210. Return of evidence
211. Access to material information
212. Private evidence
213. Admission of visitors
214. Staff of Committees
215. Consideration and adoption of report
216. Presentation of reports
217. Government’s responses to committee reports
218. Publication of Evidence
219. Power to report from time to time
220. Opportunity to make submissions by person named in a report
221. Charges against Members
PART XXVII – MISCELLANEOUS
222. Maximum speaking time 223. Admission of visitors 224. A matter before a court of law 225. Question of privilege 226. Remit of Sergeant-at-Arms 227. The Speaker to communicate to House
228. Chair of State
229. Address from the Chair or Speaker of House
230. Application of procedure of the House
231. Opening of Budget Meeting
232. Questions to the President
233. Recognition of the Women’s Caucus
234. Newspapers, periodicals, etc
235. Broadcast of Proceedings
236. Dress code
237. Leave of absence
238. Vacation of seat by a Member
239. Procedure for Indictment of President or Vice-President
240. Procedure for Impeachment of President or Vice-President
241. Membership to inter-parliamentary bodies
242. Suspension and variation of Rules
243. Amending the Rules 244. Repeal
PART I PRELIMINARY
Short title 1. (1) These Rules of Procedure may be cited as the
Commencement Standing Orders of the National Assembly and are made
under section 56 (1) of the Constitution.
(2) These Rules shall come into force on such date when
the National Assembly, by a resolution of the majority of the House,
adopts the report of the Legal Affairs Committee.
Application 2. (1) Subject to the Constitution, these Rules shall apply and have a continuing effect in all proceedings of the House until changed by order of the House.
(2) Save as expressly provided for in other parliamentary matters taking place outside the Chamber and Committees of the House, such as those relating to privilege and petitions, these Rules shall apply, in general, to proceedings taking place inside the Chamber of the House.
(3) These Rules shall apply to Committees of the House, subject to the rules contained in Part XX. (4) Any reference in these Rules to the duties and actions for which the Speaker is responsible, shall be to the Speaker, notwithstanding the practice of relief arrangements under which a Deputy Speaker or a member of the Speaker’s Panel occupies the Speaker’s Chair.
(5) Subject to these Rules and, except for the power to exercise a casting vote which is reserved for the Speaker or Deputy Speaker, the following matters shall be reserved only for the exclusive responsibility of the Speaker-
(a) role in the election of Deputy Speaker;
(b) selection or determination of a matter of public importance;
(c) decisions on matters of privilege;
(d) the power to declare a Member’s seat vacant under section 65 of the Constitution; and
(e) making rulings of a substantive matter relating to the proceedings of the House.
Definitions 3. (1) In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires,-
“absence” means a situation in which a Member is not present in the House or any Committee without Leave of Absence from the Speaker.”
“Act of Parliament” means a bill which has been laid before, and passed in the National Assembly by a simple majority or such other majority as is otherwise required by the Constitution in respect of any particular Bill and has been assented to by the President and gazetted in accordance with the Constitution.
“ad hoc Committee” means a Committee of the House appointed by the House for a matter suddenly arising for enquiry and reporting to the House;
“Appropriation Bill” means a Bill which appropriates money from the Consolidated Fund to fund annual Government expenditure;
“Assembly” means the National Assembly established by the Constitution and includes any Committee and other groups or bodies of members or officers of the Assembly appointed by or with the authority of such an Assembly for the purpose of carrying out any function or representing the Assembly;
“bar of the Assembly” means the barrier on the entrances to the Chamber beyond which no person who is not a Member, a Minister or Officer of the House, is permitted when the House is sitting;”
“Bill” means a draft Act of Parliament published in the gazette for introduction in the House;
“Chairperson” means the person presiding over a Committee of the Assembly, and includes a Deputy Chairperson;
“Clerk” means the Clerk of the National Assembly;
“Committee” includes a Committee of the Whole House, a Standing Committee or an ad hoc Committee;
“Committee of the Whole House” means a Committee comprising all Members of the Assembly;
“Consolidated Fund” means the Fund described in section 172 of the Constitution;
“Constitution” means the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi;
“dilatory motion” means a delaying motion for the adjournment of debate, Committee or House; or to adjourn further consideration of a Bill.
“dissolution” means the end of Parliament to be followed by a general election;
“division” means the division of Members in the House for the purpose of voting as prescribed in Rule 142 of these Rules. “evidence” means a record of what was said or tendered at a Committee meeting; “fixed majority” means the total number of Members other than a simple majority voting in a matter before the Assembly as prescribed by the Constitution or an Act of Parliament;”
“Gazette” means the Malawi Government Gazette;
“Hansard” means a verbatim Report of the proceedings of the House;
“House” means the National Assembly;
“Leader of the House” means a Minister responsible for Government business in the House and recognized by the Speaker as such;
“Leader of the Opposition” a member of the Opposition side elected in accordance with PART IX.
“maiden speech” means the first speech made in the Assembly by a newly elected Member;
“meeting” means the period between the time when the Assembly first assembles after being summoned and the time at which it is adjourned sine die;
“Member” means a Member of the Assembly;
“Minister” means a Minister of the Government and includes a Deputy Minister;
“motion” means a proposal made by a Member requesting the House or a Committee to order something to be /not to done;
“Order Paper” means a document containing the agenda of the House for any sitting day;
“Parliament” means the supreme legislative body of the Republic of Malawi consisting of the President and the National Assembly;
“point of order” means a matter related to the procedure or practice of the House suddenly arising, which a Member is entitled to raise when seeking the guidance of the Speaker or Chair or complaining of unparliamentary behaviour on the part of another Member;
“Portfolio Committee” means a Committee of the House to which oversight of a Government Ministry or Department, a statutory corporation or other public body drawing sums from the Consolidated Fund is assigned;
“President” means the President of the Republic of Malawi, who is Head of State and Head of Government of the Republic of Malawi;
“private Member” means a Member other than the Speaker, a Minister or a Member of the Business Committee;
“private Members’ business” means business tabled in the House by a private Member;
“privilege” means the special rights and immunities belonging to the House, its Committees and its Members in accordance with section 60 of the Constitution;
“prorogation” means the end of a session of Parliament to be followed by a proclamation of a new Session and a State Opening of Parliament;
“public petition” means a written document presented to the Assembly on a matter relating to public policy seeking to redress a public grievance;
“recess” means a period during which the House stands adjourned to any other day other than the next normal sitting day and includes the period between Sessions of a Parliament or period between prorogation and proclamation of Parliament. “Rules” means the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly made pursuant to section 56 (l) of the Constitution;
“Sergeant-at-Arms” means an officer of the House responsible for assisting the Speaker in maintaining order and decorum in the House;
“Session” means a period between the first meeting of the Assembly after a general election or proclamation and the next prorogation or dissolution.
“simple majority” means fifty percent plus one of total number of Members present and voting;
“Sitting” means the period between the time when the Speaker takes the Chair and the time when the Assembly is adjourned to the next sitting day;
“Speaker” means the Speaker of the National Assembly;
“Standing Committee” means a committee established for the duration of a Parliament to consider and to report to the House on matters falling within the duties specifically referred to it under these Rules and on other matters that may be from time to time referred to it by the House;
“visitor” means any person other than a Member or an officer of the House;
“Votes and Proceedings” means a record of proceedings of the House;
“Whip” means a Member appointed by the leadership of a Party to look after the conduct of members in relation to business of the House or Committee;
“witness” means a person who attends any Committee to give evidence.
SESSIONS OF PARLIAMENT, MEETINGS AND SITTINGS OF THE ASSEMBLY
Sessions of 4. (1) Subject to section 67 (3) of the Constitution a session of Parliament
Parliament shall be held at such place and time, as the Speaker, in consultation with the President, may appoint.
(2) On the appointment of a place and time, the Speaker shall issue summons to each Member, in writing, by notice in the Gazette and any other means of communication approved by the Speaker, to attend the new Session at the place and time indicated in the summons.
(3) The notice in Sub-rule (2) shall be issued at least 21 days prior to the date of the commencement of the Session, unless directed by a certificate of the President, in Appendix I, to the effect that it is urgent and in the public interest that the Session commences sooner.
(4) At the dissolution or prorogation of Parliament, all proceedings then pending before the House shall terminate and lapse, unless re-introduced in a new Session through a motion by the Leader of the House and the motion is passed by the majority of the Members of the House present and voting.
(5) Committees of the Assembly shall meet regardless of prorogation of Parliament.
Meetings of 5. (1) Subject to section 59 of the Constitution and these Rules, Assembly every Meeting of the Assembly shall commence on such date and at such time as the Speaker may, in consultation with the President, appoint.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Rule, the Speaker may, if he is satisfied that the public interest requires that the Assembly should meet at an earlier date other than that on which it is next to meet, seek a certificate signed by the President in the manner prescribed in Appendix I.
(3) A Meeting of the Assembly shall continue until a motion by the Leader of the House to terminate the Meeting is carried.
(4) Pursuant to section 89(3) of the Constitution at the commencement of the Budget Meeting, the President shall attend Parliament and shall:
(a) address Parliament on the state of the nation and on the future policies of the Government at that time;
(b) report on the policies of the previous year; and
(c) respond to questions either by himself or herself:
Provided that the President may delegate this function to a member of the Cabinet or (a Government official) in writing.
Sittings of the 6. (1) Unless otherwise ordered by the House, the sitting days Assembly
and times for the ordinary meetings of the House shall be as follows:
DAY MORNING AFTERNOON
Monday 14.00 hrs-17:00hrs
Tuesday 09:30 hrs - 12:30hrs 14:00hrs-17:00hrs
Thursday 09:30hrs - 12:30hrs 14:00hrs-17:00hrs
Friday 09:30hrs - 12:30hrs
Adjournment (2) When the House is sitting, it shall adjourn following a proposal Motion
to be made by the Leader of the House thirty minutes before the time set for adjournment in sub-rule (1).
Variation of 7. At any time during a sitting day, the Leader of the House, or in
the case of a Private Members day, a Member, may, on a motion without notice, propose a change to the sitting times of the House and the motion so carried shall be limited to that particular purpose and sitting day and time only.
Emergency or 8. The Speaker may convene an emergency or extra-ordinary
sitting sitting of the House if-
(a) the House resolves to sit on a day other than as provided for under Rule 6, upon a motion moved by the Leader of the House after notice at the commencement of business on any sitting day prior to the day on which the emergency or extra-ordinary sitting is to be held;
(b) the Speaker considers it expedient for the reasons he or she finds reasonable.
SUSPENSION OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE
Suspension at 9. (1) The Speaker may, if he or she considers it appropriate,
the discretion of
the Speaker suspend proceedings at any time for such period as he or she may determine-
(a) if an emergency which would place Members attending a sitting at risk occurs;
(b) if a disturbance interferes with the conduct of business of the House; or
(c) where the electronic voting system or any other electronic equipment which is required for the purposes of the sitting cannot be used for any reason.
(2) The Speaker shall decide when a suspended sitting under sub-rule (1) shall reconvene once the cause of the suspension has terminated.
Suspension in 10. The Speaker may, in other cases provided for under
these Rules, suspend proceedings- (a) to allow the House to prepare for and receive the State of the Nation Address by the State President;
(b) to allow the Chief Justice to swear in newly elected Members;
(c) to allow the Committee Stage of a Bill to be taken by a Committee of the Whole House; or
(d) to allow the House to prepare for and receive a special address by a visiting Head of State or Dignitary.
ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE
Automatic 11. (1) At the time set for the adjournment to be proposed
under Rule 6, the Speaker shall propose the question;
That the House do now adjourn
(2) If the question in sub-rule (1) is put before the House at the time set for adjournment in Rule 6, the Speaker shall interrupt the debate and immediately adjourn the House to the next sitting day; provided that-
(a) if there is a division at the time set for the adjournment, to be proposed under sub-rule (1), that division, and any consequent division, shall be completed;
(b) if the Assembly be in Committee, the Chairperson shall leave the Chair and report progress and ask leave to sit again; or
(c) if the business being debated is not disposed of when the adjournment of the House is proposed, the business shall be listed on the Order Paper for the next sitting day.
Adjournment 12. The Speaker may adjourn the House without putting a question
or question put if-
(a) there is no quorum of Members in the House after a head count; or
(b) disorder arises.
Adjournment 13. (1) Upon the motion “That the House do now adjourn,”
moved under the provisions of Rule 11, any Member, who has given notice in writing and obtained the leave of the Speaker, may raise any matter of administration for which the Government is responsible, but no division shall take place on such matter.
(2) Any Member who wishes to raise a matter under this Rule shall give notice of the matter in writing to the Speaker at least two hours to the time of adjournment.
(3) A Member speaking on a matter under this Rule shall speak for five minutes:
(4) A Minister under whose responsibility the matter raised under this Rule falls, shall speak for ten minutes.
Matter of urgent 14. (1) Any Member may, after Question time, rise in his or national
importance her place and seek leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent national importance.
(2) A Member who wishes to seek leave to move the adjournment of the House shall, at least one hour before the end of question time, submit to the Speaker a written notification of the matter he or she wishes to discuss.
(3) The Speaker may allow any request if he or she is satisfied that the matter-
(a) is definite, urgent and of national importance and may properly be raised on a motion for adjournment of the House;
(b) falls within the administrative responsibility of a specified Minister;
(c) is not likely to come before the House by some other means provided for under these Rules; and (e) may be discussed under these provisions.
(4) The Speaker, if satisfied, shall inform the House of the matter and set a time on the same day at which such motion may be moved.
(5) The moving of a motion under the provisions of this Rule shall not prejudice the moving of a motion under the provisions of Rule 13 at the same Sitting and the motion shall not be votable.
(6) The debate on a motion under this Rule shall be limited to thirty minutes and every member shall speak for five minutes.
Adjournment 15. (1) A Member who wishes to postpone to some future
occasion the further discussion of a question which has been proposed from the Chair may claim to move “That the debate be now adjourned”, or, if in Committee of the whole House, “That the Chairperson do report progress and seek leave to sit again”.
(2) The debate on any such motion shall be confined to the matter of the motion.
(3) If the Speaker or the Chairperson shall be of the opinion that any such dilatory motion is an abuse of the proceedings of the Assembly or Committee, as the case may be, he or she may decline to propose it.
(4) A dilatory motion which has been defeated may not subsequently be moved during the same debate, whether in the Assembly or in Committee of the Whole House, except at the conclusion of debate.
Adjournment 16. (1) Except in cases expressly provided for by these
of the House Rules, the adjournment of the House may be moved only by the Leader of the House or the Deputy Leader of the House.
(2) The question on any motion referred to in this Rule shall be put forthwith, without debate or amendment.
Limit on business 17. New business shall not be taken after 17:00 pm, unless by order of the House.
Adjournment 18. On a day when the House desires to adjourn to an
unspecified day other than the next normal sitting day, the Leader of the House may move a motion “That, this House do now adjourn sine die.”.
Resumption of 19. Any debate interrupted by the adjournment of the House
debate under Rule 15 shall, on coming again before the House or the Committee, be resumed at the point where it was interrupted as if it were a continuous debate.
Quorum 20. (1) The quorum of the Assembly or a Committee of the
Assembly whole House at the beginning of a sitting shall be fifty percent plus one of the Members of the Assembly, not including the Speaker or a member presiding.
(2) The Speaker shall take the Chair at the hour appointed for the sitting of the House.
(3) If there is no quorum at the appointed hour, the Speaker shall take the Chair and suspend the House for at least thirty minutes.
(4) If, at the expiry of thirty minutes after the suspension, there is still no quorum, the Speaker shall adjourn the House to the next sitting day.
Procedure 21. (1) If at any time after the business of the Assembly has
not present commenced, or when the Assembly is in Committee and a vote is
required to be taken, the attention of the Speaker or the Chairperson is called to the absence of a quorum, the Speaker or the Chairperson shall direct a count of the Members of the Assembly or the Committee, as the case may be.
(2) If on the first count a quorum does not appear to be present, the Speaker or the Chairperson shall cause the division bell to be rung as on a division, and if a quorum is still not present after the lapse of five minutes, he or she shall announce to the Assembly that there is no quorum present and shall proceed as follows -
(a) if the Speaker be in the Chair, he shall adjourn the Assembly without question put until the next sitting day and no decision shall be considered to have been arrived at by such division;
(b) if the Assembly be in Committee, the Chairperson shall leave the Chair and report the fact to the Speaker, who shall adjourn the Assembly without question put until the next sitting day: Provided that if attention is drawn to the absence of a quorum before the commencement of business, the Speaker or the Chairperson, as the case may be, shall, before taking the action described in paragraphs (a) and (b), suspend the sitting for half an hour.
(c) if, from the number of Members taking part in a
division, it appears that a quorum is not present, the division shall be invalid and the business then under consideration shall stand over until the next sitting day and the Speaker shall proceed as if his attention has been drawn to the absence of a quorum.
(d) if a quorum is then present, the next business shall be entered upon.
(3) When the counting of the Assembly or Committee is in progress, the Bar of the Assembly shall remain closed.
PROCEDURE ON A NEW SESSION OF PARLIAMENT
First Meeting 22. (1) When the Assembly first meets after a general election, following a
Election the Clerk shall, by notice in the Gazette, notify each Member about the Meeting of the Assembly, pursuant to the Proclamation of the President summoning Parliament.
(2) Prior to the appointed date, the Clerk shall arrange proceedings of the House by -
(a) laying on the Table, a list of names of Members of the House;
(b) reading the Prayer as prescribed in Appendix II; and
(c) causing the oath of allegiance and oath of office or affirmation to be taken or made by each Member and, thereafter, each officer of the House, in the manner prescribed in Appendix III and IV, before the Chief Justice, in accordance with section 52 of the Constitution;
When a Member first attends to take his or her seat after a by-election, he or she may be escorted to the Table by at least two Members to take the oath or make the affirmation before the Chief Justice.
(d) conducting the election of the Speaker in accordance with PART VIII before the House proceeds with any other business;
New Session 23. When the Assembly meets following prorogation of
Prorogation Parliament, on the day and at the time appointed in the President’s Proclamation the Speaker shall-
(a) read the Prayer;
(b) make announcements to the House;
(c) suspend the House in order to allow the President to address the House at the appointed time.
(2) When the President has entered the Chamber,
(a) the Clerk shall read the Proclamation;
(b) the Leader of the House shall present the State of the Nation Address to the President;
(c) the President shall address the House from the Chair of State.
(3) When the President has concluded delivering the State of the Nation Address from the Chair of State, the Leader of the House shall lay the Address on the Table of the House.
(4) Following the delivery of the State of the Nation Address by the President, on the next sitting day, any Member from the Government side shall, without notice, move a Motion “That His Excellency the President’s Address be agreed to.”
(5) Debate on the Address shall not exceed seven sitting days.
ELECTION AND REMOVAL OF SPEAKER AND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Election of 24. (1) Whenever it is necessary for the Assembly to elect a
Speaker, whether after a general election or when a vacancy in the office of the Speaker has occurred in any other way, the procedure for election shall be as provided in this Rule:
If the office of the Speaker falls vacant at any time before the dissolution of the National Assembly, no business shall be transacted by the House until a new Speaker is elected.
(2) The Speaker shall be elected by the Members of the Assembly from among their number.
(3) A person shall not be qualified to be elected Speaker if he or she is a Minister or Deputy Minister.
(4) The Clerk shall preside at an election of a Speaker.
(5) A Member shall not be proposed as a candidate for election to the office of Speaker unless that Member has given his or her consent to the proposal.
(6) The number of proposals under sub-rule 5 shall not exceed four.
(7) Subject to Rule 27 (4) the election of a Speaker shall be by secret ballot.
Nomination of 25. (1) The names of candidates for election to the office of
Speaker shall be entered on nomination papers obtained from and handed back to the Clerk on the day of the election, and shall be accompanied, in each case, by signatures of two Members who support the candidate and a declaration by them that the candidate is willing to serve.
(2) the Clerk shall ascertain that every candidate proposed for election to the office of Speaker is qualified to be elected as such under Part IV of the Constitution.
Presentation of 26. (1) A Member making a nomination shall move a Motion,
selection “That (Name).........do take the Chair of this House as the Speaker” and shall give a brief statement of the background and qualifications of the nominee.
(2) The nomination shall be seconded without debate.
(3) Where more than one person is nominated, the House shall proceed to elect a Speaker.
(4) If only one person is nominated, he or she shall be declared duly elected and conducted to the Chair.
Clerk to 27. The Clerk shall, at least one hour before the sitting, prepare prepare Ballot
Papers Ballot Papers upon which shall be shown the names of all candidates validly nominated under Rule 25 and shall issue not more than one such paper to each Member who comes to the Table to obtain it:
Provided that a Member who, before the conclusion of the ballot, has marked his or her paper in error may, by returning it to the Clerk, obtain another in its place, and the Clerk shall immediately cancel and destroy the paper so returned.
Manner of 28. Voting shall be in the following manner:
(a) the Clerk shall ascertain the number of Members present;
(b) every member who wishes to vote shall proceed to the voting booth and mark his or her Ballot Paper by placing a cross (and no other writing or signature), in the space opposite the name of the candidate for whom he or she wishes to vote;
(c) the Clerk shall, at the commencement of each ballot, cause the Ballot Box, empty and unlocked, to be displayed to the House and shall then, in the presence of the House, lock the Ballot Box, which shall thereafter until the conclusion of the ballot be kept in the full view of the House;
(d) when it appears to the Clerk that all Members who are present and who wish to vote have placed their Ballot Papers in the Ballot Box, the Clerk shall unlock the box, examine the ballot papers cast, having rejected those unmarked or marked otherwise than as prescribed in Rule 27, report the result of the ballot, and no member who has not already recorded his or her vote shall be entitled to do so after the Clerk has unlocked the Ballot Box.
Declaration 29. At the completion of counting, the Clerk shall announce the
result of the voting specifying-
(a) the total number of Ballot Papers contained in the Ballot Box;
(b) the total number of Members who have abstained from voting;
(c) the number of both spoilt and blank Ballot Papers; and
(d) the number of votes obtained by each nominee.
Process to 30. Where two or more candidates are nominated for the office
successful of Speaker, the person who receives the highest number of votes of all
Members present and voting shall be declared Speaker, and if there is a tie, another election shall be held.
Speaker-elect 31. (1) A Member elected Speaker shall be conducted to the Table by the proposer and seconder before subscribing the Oath of office prescribed in Appendix IV before the Chief Justice.
(2) Once sworn in, the Speaker-elect shall be conducted to the Chair of the Speaker and say, ‘In accordance with tradition, I rise to submit myself to the will of the House’ and shall express his or her acknowledgement of the honour done to him or her by the House, and then suspend business for ten minutes to permit him or her to robe.
Speaker led 32. (1) The Speaker shall, led by the Sergeant-at-Arms, enter into the Chamber
the House, and take his or her seat in the Chair, and the Sergeant-at-Arms shall place the Mace in the upper brackets on the Table.
(2) Leaders of political parties represented in the House shall rise to congratulate the Speaker on his or her election before the Speaker adjourns the sitting of the House to the next sitting day.
Election of 33. (1) The Members shall at the first meeting of the Assembly
after general election, elect Deputy Speakers from amongst their numbers and, thereafter, following a vacancy in that office.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be elected as Deputy Speaker if he or she is a Minister or Deputy Minister.
(3) The Speaker shall preside at an election of a Deputy Speaker.
(4) The procedure prescribed for the election, the taking and subscribing to the oath of office of the Speaker shall apply, with necessary modifications, to the election of a Deputy Speaker.
Vacancy in the 34. The office of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall
Speaker or become vacant in accordance with section 53 (3) of the Constitution, as Deputy Speaker
(a) on the death or resignation of the holder;
(b) if the holder ceases to be a member of the National Assembly;
(c) if the holder becomes President, Vice-President, a Minister or a Deputy Minister; or
(d) if the National Assembly, by a resolution supported by votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of that National Assembly, resolves that the holder be removed from office:
Provided that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall have the right to be heard by the Chamber on his or her own motion on any matter relating to his or her removal from office.
Removal from 35. The Speaker or Deputy Speaker may be removed from
Office by the
House office by resolution of the House in the following manner:-
(a) seven days’ notice, signed by one-third of all Members of the Assembly, shall be given by the mover of the motion;
(b) the motion shall be debated in the House within fourteen days after its receipt by the Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be;
(c) the Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall only be removed if the decision on the motion is supported by the votes, in a secret ballot, of not less than two-thirds of all the Members of the Assembly present and voting; and
(d) the Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall be entitled to be heard in his or her defence either by himself or herself or by a legal representative.
Notice to be 36. The Clerk shall, as soon as possible upon receiving a notice
placed on the
Order Paper under Rule 35, place the matter on the Order Paper.
Speaker or 37. Neither the Speaker nor the Deputy Speaker in respect of whom
not to proceedings for removal have commenced, shall preside over the
ELECTION OF LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Election of 38. (1) Whenever it is necessary for the Assembly to elect a Leader of the
Opposition Leader of the Opposition, whether after a general election or when a vacancy in the office of the Leader of the Opposition has occurred in any other way, the procedure for election shall be as provided in this Rule.
(2) Subject to sub-rule (3), any Member of the Opposition side of the Assembly, may nominate another Member of the Opposition for the position of the Leader of the Opposition.
(3) A proposal made under sub-rule (2) shall be seconded by another Member of the Opposition.
(4) The Speaker shall allow nominations not exceeding four for the position of the Leader of the Opposition.
(5) Voting shall be by secret ballot.
(6) Every Member present in the Assembly shall indicate on a ballot paper to be supplied by the Clerk, the name of the proposed person whom he or she desires to be the Leader of the Opposition.
(7) The Member shall deposit his or her ballot paper in the ballot box at the Clerk’s Table in such manner as not to disclose for whom he or she is voting.
(8) When all ballot papers of Members desiring to vote have been deposited in the ballot box, the Clerk shall count the votes in the presence of at least one Member designated as a monitor for each candidate nominated for the position of the Leader of the Opposition.
(9) The Speaker shall announce to the Assembly the name of the person who has received the greatest number of votes and shall declare that person to have been elected the Leader of the Opposition in the House and recognize him or her as such.
Removal of 39. (1) The Assembly may pass a resolution to remove the Leader
of the Leader of the Opposition on a motion by any Member on the Opposition
Opposition side of the Assembly.
(2) The motion for removal of the Leader of the Opposition shall be signed by one-third of the Opposition membership in the House.
THE SPEAKER AND ADMINISTRATION IN THE CHAMBER
General 40. (1) In all cases not provided for in these Rules, or in a authority case where there is a difference of opinion as to the interpretation of any provisions of these Rules or form of procedure, the Speaker shall decide.
(2) The decision of the Speaker under sub-rule (1) shall have regard to usages, forms, precedents, customs, procedures, traditions and the democratic principles evolving in Malawi and in other Commonwealth Parliaments to the extent that they may be applicable to the National Assembly of Malawi.
(3) The Speaker shall preserve order and decorum in the House and shall decide questions of order and practice. In deciding a point of order or practice, the Speaker shall state the reasons for the decision and shall cite any Rule or other applicable authority. The Speaker may invite submissions from members but no debate shall be permitted on any submission. No decision shall be subject to an appeal to the House.
(4) The Speaker shall not take part in any debate before the House except -
(a) where the Assembly resolves to remove the Speaker from office under section 53 (3) (d) of the Constitution; or
(b) where the matter under debate in the House pertains to the Speaker’s constituency under section 53 (7) of the Constitution.
(5) Any Member deviating from these Rules may be immediately called to order by the Speaker or any Member may rise in his place and address the Speaker calling attention to the deviation.
Speaker to 41. The Speaker shall-
(a) preside over the sittings of the Assembly, except as provided for in section 53 (4) and 53 (7) of the Constitution;
(b) exercise a casting vote in the event of a tie in a division;
(c) preserve order and decorum in the House and generally in the precincts of Parliament;
(d) decide on all points of order and questions raised and exercise his powers to ensure the flow of proceedings of the House;
(e) delegate some of his powers, functions and responsibilities to either of the Deputy Speakers as he may find appropriate, except those especially vested in him;
(f) exercise such other powers, functions and responsibilities as may be conferred upon him or her by the Constitution, a statute or these Rules. Deputy Speaker 42. A Deputy Speaker shall take the Chair of the House whenever to chair
asked to do by the Speaker, and shall chair the Committee of the Whole House.
A member of the 43. (1) Whenever the Speaker or Deputy Speaker is absent, or Chairpersons
to preside when so requested by the Speaker, a member of the Chairpersons Panel shall take the Chair for a specified purpose only.
(2) For the purposes of sub-rule (1), all Chairpersons of Committees shall constitute a Chairperson’s Panel and shall take the Chair at any time during the unavoidable absence of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker.
MEMBERS’ SEATS AND ATTENDANCE
Seating in 44. (1) Every Member shall have a seat reserved for him or her
by the Speaker.
(2) The front seats to the right hand of the Speaker shall be reserved for Members who are Ministers and Deputy Ministers in the Government.
(3) The other seats to the right hand of the Speaker shall be reserved for Members in accordance with any request that the Leader of the House may at any time make to the Speaker.
(4) The seats to the left hand of the Speaker shall be reserved for Members of the Opposition and in accordance with any request that the Leader of the Opposition or the leader of any party in opposition may at any time make to the Speaker.
(5) A Member who is not a member of a political party represented in the Assembly shall, on request to the Speaker, have reserved any seat in the House, which has not been otherwise reserved under this rule, but if two or more such members request that the same seat be reserved, the Speaker shall determine for whom it shall be reserved.
(6) The Speaker shall determine any dispute about the seats occupied by Members.
Member to 45. A Member shall speak only from the seat allocated to him or
allocated seat her by the Speaker.
Members’ roll 46. The Clerk shall keep a Members’ roll for each constituency
showing the name of the Member and the date he or she –
(a) is elected;
(b) makes the oath or affirmation; or
(c) ceases to be a Member, and the reason.
Leave of 47. (1) A Member may be granted leave of absence from the
House by submitting a request to the Speaker, in writing, stating the reason for leave and the period of absence.
(2) A Member who is granted leave of absence is excused from the service of the House or any Committee. The leave is forfeited if the Member attends in the Chamber of the House or attends a Committee before the end of the period of leave.
(3) A Member who is absent without seeking leave of absence shall forfeit all allowances during the period of absence.
CLERK OF THE HOUSE AND DUTIES AT THE TABLE
The Clerk 48. The Clerk shall execute the duties, roles and functions at the Table for the efficient and effective operation of the Assembly, under the direction of the Speaker.
Duties of 49. (1) The Clerk shall be responsible for the safe keeping of the Clerk
all the papers and records of the House, and have the direction and control over all the clerks and officers, subject to such directions as he or she may from time to time receive from the Speaker.
(2) Subject to sub-rule (3), the Clerk shall attend all sittings of the Assembly and Committee of the whole House. The Clerk shall, when so required by the Speaker, attend the sittings of any Committee of the House established under PART XXV.
(3) The Clerk may, with the approval of the Speaker, assign any of the Clerks to attend a sitting of the House or a Committee of the whole House in his or her place whenever his or her duties require him or her to be elsewhere.
(4) Subject to the directions of the Speaker, the Clerk shall be responsible for the distribution of all parliamentary papers and other procedural documents to Members.
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Votes and 50. (1) The Clerk shall note, sign and keep the official record Proceedings
of the proceedings of the House referred to as “Votes and Proceedings”
which shall constitute the journals of the Assembly.
(2) The record shall contain-
(a) the proceedings and decisions of the House; and
(b) the attendance of Members in the House, including any leave of absence granted.
(3) The Clerk shall neither take, nor permit to be taken, any parliamentary documents or Records from the Parliament Chamber or office of the Assembly without an order of the Assembly or by the leave or order of the Speaker.
Official 51. (1) An official report of the proceedings in the Assembly Report
which shall be in English or any other official language as the Assembly may prescribe and, as nearly as possible verbatim, shall be prepared under the general supervision of the Clerk who shall conform to any instructions given by the Speaker in that behalf.
(2) The Speaker shall give instructions to the Clerk as to the facilities which are to be afforded to Members for making of representations in regard to proofs of the Official Report of speeches delivered by them in producing the Official Report expeditiously.
(3) Every member whose speech is to be published in the Official Report shall be accorded an opportunity to read the speech in proof within a period of twenty four hours, either by providing to him or her a copy of the proof or otherwise, and may suggest such corrections thereto as they relate only to textual errors and not the substance of what was said.
(4) A Member who makes a correction to a speech or remark made by him or her shall report the correction to the Clerk, within twenty four hours, who shall then bring the correction to the attention of the Speaker and, in the case of a dispute as to the nature of the correction, the decision of the Speaker shall be final.
(5) The Official Report shall be published in such form as the Speaker may direct and every Member shall be entitled to receive three copies thereof without charge and to any another person at a charge to be fixed by the Clerk.
Access 52. (1) The Speaker may make rules to regulate access by the to Journals
and Records public to Journals and Records of the House.
(2) The Speaker may direct any matter which, in the opinion of the Speaker, is secret or purely personal to be excluded from the Journals of the House and from the verbatim report of proceedings of the House, and to be the subject of a separate verbatim report, which shall be kept in the custody of the Clerk and made available only to Members.
BUSINESS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE
Order Paper 53. (1) An Order Paper shall be prepared by the Clerk for each sitting day showing the business to be placed before the Assembly and the order in which it is to be taken.
(2) The Clerk shall prepare a Supplementary Order Paper whenever the House adopts a motion that the order of business on a particular sitting day should be amended in order to add new business which, in the opinion of the House, is urgent and important.
(3) A motion under sub-rule (2) shall be without notice and moved by the Leader of the House.
Order of 54. (1) Unless the Rules otherwise permit, and except on
Thursdays when Government Business shall be substituted with Private Members’ Business, the order of business of the Assembly on any sitting day shall be as follows-
(b) General Business, which shall include Election of Speaker, Administration of Oaths and Affirmations, Communication from the Chair, Obituaries, Delegation Reports, Committee Reports, Questions to Ministers for Oral Replies, Personal Explanations, the Speaker’s Rulings and End of Tenure Remarks;
(c) Government Business, which shall include Bills, Motions, Ministerial Statements, Statutory Reports, Communication from the Head of State and Statements by visiting foreign dignitaries.
(d) Private Members’ Business, which shall include Motions, Bills, Petitions, Constituency Statements, Papers and Personal Explanations.
(2) Subject to sub-rule (3) and unless the Assembly decides otherwise on a motion, which may be moved without notice, daily business items shall be disposed of in the order in which they appear on the Order Paper.
(3) The Government shall have the right to determine the order in which Government Business shall be placed on the Order Paper.
(4) Before the adjournment of the House on each sitting day of the week, the Leader of the House shall inform the House about the Government Business to be brought before the House on the next sitting day.
Reading of 55. On reaching the orders of the day, the Speaker shall direct the
the day Clerk to read them without question put.
Changes to 56. (1) A Business item may be postponed on a motion moved orders of the
day without notice by the Member in charge of the item or in his or her absence, by another Member in his or her stead.
(2) After an order has been read, the Member in charge of the order may move, without notice, that the order be discharged.
(3) If any orders of the day on the Order paper have not been called on before the adjournment of the House, they shall be listed on the Order Paper for the next sitting day.
Privilege 57. An urgent motion directly concerning the privileges of the
take precedence Assembly shall take precedence over other motions as well as of orders of the day.
Communica- 58. Whenever possible, communication from the President shall be
tion from the
President be read to the Assembly by the Leader of the House but the Speaker may interrupt the proceedings of the Assembly at any time to allow such communication to be delivered, which may be considered forthwith or at such time as the Speaker may determine.
Communication 59. The Speaker shall, whenever necessary, make any
Chair communication to the House as may be necessary for the information of Members.
Presentation 60. (1) Members may present reports of delegations on any
day as may be recommended by the Business Committee.
(2) A Member presenting a report may move that the report be noted but the Leader of the House may move that debate on the report be deferred to a future day.
(3) The House may refer to any relevant committee for further consideration of a report within any parameters adopted by the House. PART XVI PETITIONS AND PAPERS Rules for, 61. (1) A petition substantially in the form prescribed in
content of Appendix V may be presented by a member for the redress of an
alleged public grievance and must-
(a) be addressed to the Assembly;
(b) refer to a matter on which the House has the power to act;
(c) state the reasons for petitioning the House; and
(d) contain a request for action by the House.
(2) A petition shall-
(a) be written, typewritten or printed, and free from alterations or erasures;
(b) be in the English language or accompanied by a translation in the English language certified as correct to the best of the Member’s knowledge and belief;
(c) contain a clear, concise and accurate statement of the facts for which the intervention of the House is requested and the signature of all the petitioners;
(d) not be illegal or promote illegal acts;
(e) be presented in moderate language.
(2) The terms of the petition must –
(a) not exceed two hundred and fifty words;
(b) be placed at the top of the first page; and
(c) have the request or prayer of the petition at the top of every other page.
No letters 62. No letters, affidavits or other document, other than the
to be attached translation required by Rule 61, shall be attached to any petition.
No reference 63. (1) No reference shall be made in a petition to any debate in
Petition to be 64. (1) Every petition shall contain the signature and full name signed
and address of a principal petitioner on the first page of the petition.
(2) All the signatures on a petition must meet the following requirements-
(a) each signature must be made by the person signing in his or her own handwriting;
(b) only a petitioner who is incapable of signing by reason of illness or otherwise incapacitated may ask another person to sign the petition on his or her behalf.
(c) a person unable to sign shall affix his or her mark in the presence of two witnesses;
(d) signatures must not be copied, pasted or transferred on to the petition or placed on a blank page on the reverse of a sheet containing the terms of the petition.
(3) A Member must not be a principal petitioner or signatory to a petition.
Petition to be 65. (1) Every petition shall be signed on the front page
examination thereof by the Member in charge of it and deposited with the Clerk, who, after examining it, shall submit it to the Speaker for consideration. No petition shall be presented in the House until the Speaker has made a determination.
(2) If a petition requires the recommendation of the President, such recommendation shall be in writing and shall be deposited with the Clerk at the same time as the petition.
Day of 66. A petition shall be presented by a Member on a private presentation
on specific Members’ day.
Member to 67. A Member, before presenting a petition, shall ascertain
authenticity and write at the head of the petition the number of signatures to it and
of petition shall satisfy himself or herself that it does not contain language disrespectful to the Assembly.
Mode of 68. (1) A Member presenting a public petition shall, at the
appropriate stage in the Order of Business, proceed to the Table and hand the petition to the Clerk, who shall note its presentation in the Votes and Proceedings.
(2) The Member presenting the petition may state concisely the purpose of the petition and may move –
(a) that it be read; or
(b) that it be ordered to lie on the Table; or
(c) that it be referred to a relevant committee; or
(d) that it be printed;
(3) No debate shall be permitted on the motion but where no motion is moved, the petition shall be ordered to lie on the table.
Presentation 69. (1) Papers may be presented to the Assembly–
(a) during sittings of the Assembly by Minister or Member laying them on the Table;
(b) when the Assembly is not sitting, by delivery to the Clerk.
(2) When presenting a Paper under sub-rule (1), the Minister or Member concerned shall make a brief explanatory statement on the Paper.
(3) All papers shall lie on the Table without question put.
Record and 70. (1) A record of all papers presented to the Assembly shall custody of
papers be entered in the first possible issue of the Votes and Proceedings.
(2) All Papers tabled in the House, including all Committee Reports shall be serially numbered in each session by the Clerk who shall deposit them with the Parliament Librarian.
(3) The Clerk shall have custody of the Journals and Records, whether audio, electronic or any other form, including all papers and accounts howsoever presented to or belonging to the House.
Access to 71. All persons shall be entitled at all convenient times, on
application to the Clerk, to read and, if they so desire, to take extracts from or copies of all Papers laid upon the Table.
Questions 72. (1) Questions shall be put only to Ministers and shall
for oral replies only relate to-
(a) public affairs for which they are officially responsible;
(b) proceedings pending before the Assembly; or
(c) any matter of administration for which a Minister is responsible.
(2) Notice of every question under this rule shall be given in writing and delivered to the Clerk, a copy of which shall be fairly written, subscribed with a member’s full name and signature, indicating whether an oral or written answer is required.
(3) The Clerk shall place notices of questions on the Order Paper in the order in which they were received.
(4) Questions shall be taken on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and in the case of questions addressed to the President, on Wednesdays, after Prayers and the disposal of routine business.
(5) No question shall be asked after the lapse of one hour and fifteen minutes from the time when questions for oral answers are called by the Speaker unless Question Time is extended by order of the House;
(6) In the case of questions addressed to the President, the Assembly may, by resolution vary the question time.
(7) A Member who desires an oral answer to his question shall mark it with an asterisk.
(8) Replies to oral questions of a policy nature submitted by Members shall be given by Ministers within seven clear days from the date of dispatch of questions from the Clerk’s office to the appropriate ministries but the responses to such questions shall be given in the manner provided in Rule 75.
(9) Where a Member desires a written answer to his or her question, the Minister to whom the question is addressed shall, within twenty-one days, cause a written answer to be supplied to the Clerk who shall cause the question to be incorporated in the Official Report.
(10) A Question requiring a written reply shall appear on notice, on the Order Paper, until the Minister responsible has submitted such a reply to the Member who asked the Question with a copy to the Clerk.
Rotation of 73. (1) Questions to Ministries shall be in rotation as the
the Order Paper Speaker may determine;
(2) A Ministry shall have a maximum of five questions on each sitting day when the questions are to be taken:
Provided that the Speaker shall have power to determine the total number of Questions to be placed on the Order Paper.
Restriction on 74. Questions relating to matters which are under the control of
a statutory body must be restricted to those matters for which a Minister is made responsible by law or which affect the general policy of that statutory body.
Procedure 75. (1) In the case of questions to which an oral answer has during question
time been requested, when the question is reached on the Order Paper, the Speaker shall call the number of the Question standing in a Member’s name. The Member shall then rise and say “Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask question No...... standing to my name on today’s Order Paper.
(2) Where a question has been asked in accordance with sub-rule but the Minister or Deputy Minister asked is unable to give a reply, the Speaker shall order that the Question be carried forward to the next sitting day at Question Time.
(3) A Minister shall attend sittings of the House to answer questions: Provided that questions addressed to a Minister may be answered by another Minister or a Deputy Minister.
(4) Where a Member whose question appears on the Order Paper is not in the Chamber without leave of the Speaker, a Minister shall not be required to answer the question and such question shall be carried forward to the next meeting of the Assembly: –
Provided that where a Member has sought leave of the Speaker, his or her question shall be carried forward either to the next sitting day or to the next meeting of the Assembly as the case may be.
Suppleme- 76. (1) As soon as a question is answered in the House, any
Member, beginning with the Member who asked the question, may, without notice, ask a supplementary question for the further clarification of any matter of fact regarding the answer which has been given.
(2) Supplementary questions shall arise directly from the answer to the original question and shall not be used to introduce matters not included in the original answer to the question, or purports to raise a new matter on the floor of the House, notice of which has not been given.
(3) The Speaker shall allow only two supplementary questions to the original question; provided that the originator of the question shall be entitled to one supplementary question as a matter of priority.
Limitations 77. The right to ask a question shall be subject to the following
on the right to ask rules: questions (1) A Question shall be of a genuinely interrogative character and its purpose shall be limited to seeking information on a matter of fact within the official responsibility of the Minister or pressing for official action.
(2) A Question shall not be made the pretext for a debate and a Member shall not address the Assembly upon the subject of his or her question.
(3) A Question shall be asked in clear and moderate terms and shall not seek a legal opinion.
(4) A Question shall not include the names of persons, or any statements of fact, unless they be strictly necessary to render the question intelligible. If a question contains a statement the Member asking it is responsible for the accuracy of that statement;
(5) Not more than one Government department shall be referred to in a question and a question shall not be of excessive length;
(6) A Question shall not be asked-
(a) regarding proceedings in a Committee of the Assembly which have not been presented to the House by a report from the Committee;
(b) as to the character or conduct of any person, except in his or her official capacity;
(c) reflecting on the character or conduct of any person whose conduct can only be challenged on a substantive motion under Rule 127.
(d) as to the accuracy of any unofficial statement appearing in the press or any statement made by private individuals or by unofficial bodies.
(7) A Question fully answered shall not be asked again.
Speaker to 78. If the Clerk is of the opinion that any question of which a decide on
admissibility has given notice is one which infringes any of these Rules, the
Clerk shall refer the question to the Speaker who shall direct -
(a) that it be not asked except with such alterations as the Speaker may direct; or
(b) that the Member concerned be informed that the Question is inadmissible.
Withdrawal of 79. (1) A question may be withdrawn by the Member Questions
asking it at any time before an answer is given, either by notice in writing to the Clerk, or in the case of a question in respect of which an oral answer is requested, by the Member rising in his or her seat during question time when his or her name is called and withdrawing it orally.
(2) Where a question is called and the Member in charge is in the House but does not rise in respect of the question standing to his or her name, that question shall be deemed automatically withdrawn by such Member and the question shall not be raised again during that session.
Question by 80. Questions of which notice has not been given in accordance
with Rule 72, but which, in the opinion of the Speaker, are of an urgent nature, and relate either to matters of public importance or to the arrangement of the business of the Assembly may, if the Speaker is satisfied that adequate private notice has been given to the Minister concerned, be asked at the conclusion of question time.
Failure to 81. It shall be disorderly conduct for a Member to fail to ask or for ask or answer
a question a Minister to fail to answer a Question listed on the Order Paper without the leave of the Speaker.
Questions to the 82. The President shall be allowed up to thirty minutes
of Question Time on one Wednesday in each Meeting of the Assembly depending on the availability of questions addressed to the President.
Numbering of 83. All questions shall be numbered serially in each session and
the number allotted to each question shall be entered in the Order Paper.
Question 84. (1) There shall be a Question record book which shall be Record book
kept by the Clerk and shall be open for inspection by Members;
(2) The Question record book shall contain the following –
(a) all questions submitted by Members, and their categorization into those for the oral and written replies, and those by private notice.
(b) questions admitted by the Speaker and the time of their transmission to the Minister;
(c) questions not admitted and the reasons for their in admission; and
(d) answers received for the questions sent to Ministries, including the date of delivery.
STATEMENTS AND PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS
Ministerial 85. (1) A Minister may, after notice to the Speaker, make a
statement to the Assembly, on behalf of the Government regarding any
matter for which the Government is responsible.
(2) Ministerial Statements shall not be debated, but questions or supplementary questions may be asked by Members for the purpose of clarifying any matter of fact with which the statement deals.
Constituency 86. (1) On a private Members’ day, a Member other than a
Members Minister may, after notice in writing to the Speaker, make a Constituency statement for no longer than five minutes.
(2) The Statements by Members may address any matter of interest to the House, including their constituencies and no debate shall be allowed.
(3) A Member who wishes to make a Statement under this Rule shall give notice in writing in a manner prescribed in Appendix VI to the Speaker at least not less than six clear days before the day he or she intends to make a Statement.”
(4) Where the Statement by the Member shall require a response from the Government, the notification under sub-rule (3) shall be given to the Speaker before Twelve noon.
(5) The Speaker shall require the Government to indicate the day on which a response would be made under sub-rule (4).
Personal 87. (1) With the prior leave of the Speaker, a Member may
make a personal explanation although there be no question before the Assembly. Such explanation may not be debated and no controversial matter may be included in any explanation.
(2) The explanation of the Member shall seek to put the correct position on allegations cast on the personal conduct or activities of that Member.
(3) A Member seeking to make a personal explanation shall adhere to the following conditions-
(a) the Member shall rise and seek permission from the Speaker;
(b) the Member shall not interrupt another Member addressing the house; and
(c) the matter shall not be debated. PART XIX PROCESS AND RULES OF DEBATE MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS Notice of 88. A Member giving notice of a motion shall deliver a copy of such motion
the motion fairly written and signed by himself or herself to the Clerk.
Contents of 89. (1) A notice of motion signed by the proposer shall be
expressed in a form and with content appropriate for a resolution of the House and shall clearly indicate the issue to be raised for debate and include such material as may be necessary to identify the facts or matter to which the motion relates.
(2) The Business Committee may specify the day on which the motion may be moved by the Member.
(3) A notice of motion shall not contain expressions or words which would not be permitted in debate or statement of facts or names of persons unless they are strictly necessary to render the notice intelligible and can be authenticated.
If a notice-
(a) contains inappropriate language or does not conform with the Rules, the Speaker shall ask the Member to amend the notice; or
(b) contains matters which are not relevant to each other, the Speaker may ask the Member to clearly separate the issues in the notice.
Member may 90. (1) A Member may amend a notice of motion standing in
notice his or her name if such amendment does not, in the opinion of the Speaker, materially alter any principle embodied in the motion, and any such amendment shall be deemed to have been made at the time the original notice of motion was given.
(2) A Member who has given a notice of motion may-
(a) change the terms of the notice by notifying the Clerk in writing in time for the change to be published on the Order Paper before the motion is called on;
(b) withdraw the notice by notifying the Clerk in writing before the motion is called on.
Notice before 91. The Clerk shall submit notices of motion to the Business
Committee Committee for consideration before placing them on the Order Paper.
When a motion 92. A Member shall not move a motion unless-
may be moved
(a) he or she has given a notice of a motion and the notice has appeared on the Order Paper; or
(b) he or she has leave of the House; or
(c) as otherwise specified in the Rules. Motion not 93. When a motion is not moved when called on, it shall be moved when called on removed from the Order Paper unless the House decides on a motion by any Member that the motion be moved at a future day.
Same motion 94. (1) A motion which has been withdrawn by leave of the House, or removed from the Order Paper before being decided, may be moved again during the same session.
(2) Subject to Rule 102, the Speaker may disallow any motion or amendment which he or she considers is the same in substance as any question already resolved in the same session.
Motions not 95. If a motion on the Order Paper has not been called on
before the adjournment of the House, it shall be set down on the Order Paper for the next sitting day, following the motion of which notice has been given for that day.
Seconding of 96. (1) Unless otherwise provided, a motion must be seconded.
A motion which is not seconded when required, must not be debated.
(2) A motion moved by the Leader of the House does not require a seconder if it relates to the conduct of business of the House.
Debate out 97. (1) It shall be out of order to anticipate the discussion of a
a Bill, which has been published in the Gazette by discussion upon a substantive motion or an amendment thereto, or by raising the subject matter of the Bill upon a motion for the adjournment of the Assembly.
(2) It shall be out of order during debate upon any other motion, including a motion for the adjournment of the Assembly, or upon an amendment thereto, to anticipate the discussion of a motion of which notice has been given.
(3) In determining whether a discussion is out of order on the grounds of anticipation, regard shall be given to the probability of the matter anticipated being brought before the Assembly within a reasonable time.
Questions 98. (1) After a motion has been moved and seconded, the
Speaker shall propose the question thereon to the House in the same terms as the motion, and debate may then take place upon the question.
(2) After the question has been proposed from the Chair, the motion shall be deemed to have been put in the possession of the Assembly and may not be withdrawn without the leave of the Assembly.
(3) At the end of debate, the Speaker shall put a question, and no person shall walk out of or cross the Assembly or make any noise or disturbance or raise a point of Order while the question is being put.
Question put 99. (1) If amendments to a question have been made, the main
amendments question shall be put as amended.
(2) When amendments have been moved but not made, the question shall be put as originally proposed.
Withdrawal of 100. (1) A Member who has made a motion or moved an
amendment may withdraw it with the assent of the majority of Members present.
(2) A motion withdrawn in accordance with sub-rule (1) may be made again on notice being given provided that a motion or amendment to which an amendment has been moved may not be withdrawn until the amendment thereto has been disposed of.
Motions with- 101. The following motions may be moved without notice-
(a) a motion for the amendment of a motion subject to the Speaker’s permission;
(b) a motion moved by a Leader of the House for the adjournment of the Assembly;
(c) a dilatory motion under Rule 15 (4);
(d) a motion for the suspension of Rules moved with permission of the Speaker;
(e) a motion moved when the Assembly is in Committee, subject to the provisions of the Rules governing financial procedure and the procedure on Bills.
(f) a motion which, in the opinion of the Speaker, raises a question of privilege and which is made at the earliest possible opportunity; and
(g) a motion to vary sitting times under Rule 7.
Improper 102. (1) A notice of motion, which, in the opinion of the
Speaker amounts to an attempt to consider a specific question upon which the Assembly has decided during the same session, shall be disallowed by the Speaker unless it be a notice of a substantive motion to rescind the previous decision of the Assembly.
(2) Notwithstanding sub-rule (1), where the purpose of the rescission is to correct irregularities or mistakes, the corrections may be made at once by leave of the House or when one day’s notice has been given.
Form of 103. (1) Once the Speaker has proposed a question on a motion amendments
and seconding to the House, the question may be amended by-
(a) omitting certain words; and/or
(b) inserting or adding words.
(2) An amendment must be in writing and signed by the mover. If the amendment is not seconded where necessary, it shall not be debated.
(3) Amendments moved during consideration in detail of a bill shall require seconder.
(4) The amendment shall be relevant to the question it proposes to amend.
(5) A proposed amendment moved by a Member may be withdrawn by leave of the House.
Notice of 104. (1) Unless notice has already been given, the proposer of an
amendment shall, before moving it, hand the notice of amendment in writing, signed by himself or herself, to the Clerk:
Provided that the Speaker may relax this provision in case of simple amendments.
(2) Any amendment to the motion which a Member wishes to propose in accordance with the provisions of these Rules may be moved at any time after the question upon the motion has been proposed and before it has been put.
(3) When every such amendment has been disposed of, the Speaker shall either propose the question upon the motion, or upon the motion as amended, as the case may require, and, after any further debate which may arise thereon, shall put the question.
Questions put 105. (1) The Speaker shall put a question reflecting the
amendments purpose of a proposed amendment as follows-
(a) if the purpose is to omit certain words, the question shall be-
That the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question
(b) if the purpose is to omit certain words in order to insert or add other words, the question shall be-
That the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question
If this question is resolved in the affirmative, the amendment is disposed of; if negative, the Speaker shall put a further question-
That the words proposed be inserted or added.
(c) If the purpose is to insert or add certain words, the question shall be-
That the words proposed be inserted or added.
(2) If no Member objects, instead of the questions in sub-rule (1), the Speaker may put the question-
That the amendment be agreed to
Restrictions 106. (1) An amendment shall not raise any questions which, in
to be moved the opinion of the Speaker, should be raised by a substantive motion
after notice is given.
(2) No amendment shall be permitted if, in the opinion of the Speaker, it represents a direct negative of the questions proposed.
(3) A proposed amendment shall not be inconsistent with a previous decision on the question.
(4) An amendment may not be moved to an earlier part of the question-
(a) after a later part has been amended;
(b) after an amendment to a later part has been proposed and the proposal has not, by leave of the House, been withdrawn.
(5) Each proposed amendment shall be disposed of before another amendment to the original question can be moved.
(6) An amendment to an amendment shall be disposed of in the same way as an amendment to a motion;
(6) When every amendment to an amendment has been disposed of, the Speaker or the Chairperson shall again propose the question on the original amendment, or propose the question on the original amendment as amended, as the case may require.
Closure motion 107. (1) After a question has been proposed, any Member may at any time, whether or not any other Member is speaking or that Member himself or herself has previously spoken, rise in his or her place and claim to move “That the question be now put”, and, unless it shall appear to the Speaker that such a motion is an abuse of the rules of the Assembly, or an infringement of the rights of a minority, the question “That the question be now put” shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.
(2) When a motion “That the question be now put” has been carried, and the question consequent thereon has been decided, a Member may claim that such other questions be put as may be requisite to bring to a decision any question already proposed and such question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.
Reply closes 108. When the Member who moved the original question replies, the
debate shall close except during consideration of a Bill or consideration of amendments to a Bill.
Member not 109. A Member shall not speak to a question after it has been put
to speak after question put and decided.
Minister to 110. Ministers shall timely respond to Private Members’ motions
tabled before by the House in respect of their Ministries, Departments, statutory corporations and other public institutions funded by the Treasury under their responsibility, and in any event, shall respond within fourteen days or at the next meeting of the Assembly whichever is earlier. RULES OF DEBATE Form and 111. (1) All proceedings of the Assembly shall be in the English
(2) Every Member desiring to speak shall rise in his or her place and address himself or herself to the Speaker.
(3) If more than one Member rise at the same time, the Speaker shall call upon the member who rose first in his or her place to speak.
(4) A Member may speak only to the question before the Assembly, or to a question or amendment to be proposed by himself or herself, or to a question of order.
(8) Subject to this rule, a speaker’s list on any Bill or motion shall be lodged with the Speaker a day before a sitting day.
Member 112. (1) No Member shall interrupt another Member who is
to be interrupted speaking except–
(a) to call attention to a point of order suddenly
(b) to call attention to the absence of a quorum;
(c) to move the closure; and
(d) to call attention to the unwarranted presence of visitors.
(2) A maiden speech shall not be interrupted except by the Speaker, in circumstances which, in the opinion of the Speaker, warrant such interruptions. Provided that the Member speaking may, at his or her discretion, give way to another Member who wishes to interrupt in order to correct a misapprehension or elicit an explanation.
(3) A Member who is addressing the House shall take his or her seat when-
(a) called to order by the Speaker; or
(b) a point of order is raised by another member; or
(c) the Speaker rises.
(4) If any motion is made concerning the conduct of any member, or his right to hold his seat, that member may make a statement, remain in the House during the debate and participate in any resulting vote.
(5) A Member shall not speak to any question after it has been put by the Speaker.
Member may 113. A Member who has spoken to a question may not speak again speak again
to the same question except in Committee.
Member not to 114. (1) A Member shall not read a speech during debate but a
Member may read short extracts from written and printed papers in support of an argument and may refresh memory by reference to notes.
(2) The Speaker shall allow a Member to read a speech in particular cases where the Speaker is satisfied that, that would be necessary for precision in statement of facts.
(3) A Minister may read a speech in respect of Ministerial statement or a written answer to question to oral replies.
Spokesperson 115. A Spokesperson of a political party in Parliament responding to
to be heard
uninterrupted a State of the Nation Address, Budget Statement, or Second Reading Speech of a Bill shall be heard uninterrupted.
ORDER AND DISORDER
Order kept 116. (1) The Speaker or the occupier of the Chair of the House
by Speaker or
Chair at the time, shall keep order in the House.
(2) The Deputy Speaker, or occupier of the Chair of the Committee of the Whole House at the time, shall keep order in the Committee. The House may address order in the Committee after receiving a report from the Deputy Speaker or the Chair.
(3) Whenever the Speaker rises during a debate any Member then speaking or offering to speak, shall sit down and the Assembly shall be silent so that the Speaker may be heard without interruption.
Security 117. Members shall be subjected to a security check or screening
before entering the Chamber.
Firearms or 118. No Member shall bring any offensive weapon into the
weapons Chamber and any such weapon must be deposited with the
Sergeant–at-Arms for safe custody, and collected at the time of leaving.
Members to 119. If the Speaker stands during a debate, any Member then recognize authority of the Speaker speaking or seeking the call shall sit and the House shall be silent so that the Speaker may be heard without interruption.
Members moving 120. A Member in the Chamber shall-
in the Chamber
(a) take his or her seat in the Chamber promptly;
(b) bow or curtsy to the Chair on entering or leaving the Chamber and in passing to and from his or her seat or when crossing the floor of the House;
(c) not remain in the aisles of the Chamber;
(d) not pass between the Chair and any Member who is speaking; or
(e) stand in their places when the Speaker is entering or leaving Chamber.
A Member not 121. While in the House, a Member shall not be referred to by
to be referred
to by name name, but by one of the following forms, as appropriate-
(a) the Member’s ministerial office (e.g. Minister of Defence);
(b) the Member’s parliamentary office (e.g. Leader of the House, Leader of the Opposition, Chief Government Whip);
(c) the Member’s constituency (e.g. Member for Blantyre North).
Members wish- 122. (1) A Member wishing to speak shall rise and, when
ing to speak
recognized by the Speaker, address the Speaker. If a Member is unable to rise, he or she shall be permitted to speak while seated.
(2) If two or more Members rise to speak, the Speaker shall call on the Member, who in the Speaker’s opinion, rose first.
(3) When a Member is speaking, no Member may converse aloud or make any noise or disturbance to interrupt the Member.
When interrupt- 123. (1) A Member may only interrupt another Member to-
ion of Member
allowed (a) call attention to a point of order;
(b) call attention to a matter of privilege suddenly arising;
(c) call attention to the lack of a quorum;
(d) call attention to the unwarranted presence of visitors.
(2) The Speaker, after having called the attention of the Assembly to the conduct of a Member who persists in irrelevance or tedious repetitions, either of his or her own arguments or of those used by other Members in debate, may direct him or her to discontinue his speech.
Point of order 124. (1) A Member may raise a point of order with the Speaker
at any time stating that he or she does so. Any Member who is then speaking shall thereupon resume his or her seat and the Member rising to the point of order shall do likewise when he has concluded his submission.
(2) A Member may not, except by leave of the Speaker, speak to the point of order.
(3) The Speaker shall either give his decision on the point of order forthwith or announce that he defers his decision for consideration, after which the Member who was speaking at the time the point of order was raised shall be entitled to continue his speech, giving effect to the Speaker’s ruling.
Use of certain 125. A member shall not refer disrespectfully to the State President
in debate for the purpose of influencing the House in its deliberations.
Conduct of 126. The conduct of the President or the Vice-President shall not be
or Vice-President called into question in the course of debate other than by way of the procedure for impeachment.
Conduct of 127. The conduct of the Speaker, Ministers, Members, Judges,
the Speaker and
other Office- Resident Magistrates and Public Officials shall not be called into
question in the course of debate, except by way of a substantive motion containing a specific charge.
Reflections on 128. All imputations of improper motives to a Member and
all personal reflections on other Members shall be considered highly
Reference to 129. A Member shall not refer in the House to any proceedings Committee
Report related to a Committee Report until such Report has been tabled in the
Matter already 130. It shall be out of order to introduce arguments on any
question upon which the Assembly has taken a decision during the current Session except upon a motion to rescind that decision made with the permission of the Speaker.
Accuracy of 131. A Member is responsible for the accuracy of any facts which he
or she alleges to be true.
Unparliamentary 132. A Member shall not-
(a) use offensive expressions; or
(b) indulge in personalities; or
(c) use his or her right of speech for the purpose of obstructing the business of the Assembly; or
(d) impute improper motives to or make a personal charge against any Member except on a substantive motion calling in question the conduct of that member; or
(e) use words against the Assembly or its Committees which undermine the dignity and integrity of the Assembly or its Committees.
(f) use offensive words against-
(i) a member of the Judiciary; or
(ii) a Minister or Deputy Minister; or
(iii) a public officer.
Disorderly 133. A Member’s conduct shall be declared to be disorderly if the
(a) persistently and wilfully obstructed the House;
(b) knowingly raises a false point of order;
(c) used objectionable words, which he or she has refused to withdraw;
(d) persistently and wilfully refused to conform to a rule;
(e) wilfully disobeyed an order of the House;
(f) persistently and wilfully disregarded the authority of the Speaker; or
(g) been considered by the Speaker to have behaved in a disorderly manner;
(h) uses or threatens violence against a Member or other persons;
(i) persists in making serious allegations without, in the opinion of the Speaker, adequate substantiation;
(j) otherwise abuses his or her privileges;
(k) deliberately gives false information to the House;
(l) refuses to answer a legitimate question by a Member;
(m) votes more than once in breach of these Rules; (n) commits any serious breach of these Rules; (o) acts in any other way to the serious detriment of the dignity or orderly procedure of the House;
(p) uses unparliamentary language which he refuses to withdraw.
Intervention 134. (1) The Speaker may intervene-
(a) to prevent any personal quarrel between Members during proceedings; and
(b) when a Member’s conduct is considered offensive or disorderly.
(2) When the Speaker’s attention is drawn to the conduct of a Member, the Speaker shall determine whether or not it is offensive or disorderly.
Sanctions against 135. (1) A Member who is guilty of disorderly conduct may be
conduct ordered by the Speaker to leave the Chamber for the remainder of that sitting day.
(2) Where a Member has been ordered by the Speaker to leave the Chamber, the order shall not be open to debate or dissent, and if the Member does not leave the Chamber immediately, the Speaker can name the disorderly Member.
(3) If a Member is named, the Speaker may direct that he or she be suspended from the House on the following terms –
(a) on the first occasion, for the two sitting days period from the time of suspension;
(b) on the second occasion during the same Meeting, for the five consecutive sitting days following the day of suspension; and
(c) on a third or later occasion during the same Meeting, for ten consecutive sitting days following the day of suspension.
(4) A Member who is subject to a direction to leave the Chamber, shall be excluded from the Chamber and precincts of the Assembly and shall during the period of such withdrawal or suspension, forfeit the right of access thereto.
(5) If a Member refuses to follow the Speaker’s direction, the Speaker may order the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove the Member from the Chamber by use of force.
(6) Where several Members present have jointly disregarded the authority of the Chair, the Speaker shall suspend them jointly.
(7) Nothing in this Rule shall deprive the Assembly of the power of proceeding against any Member in accordance with the
Cap. 2:04 provisions of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges).
Suspension 136. (1) On receiving from a Member so suspended a written Member
regret expression of regret, the Speaker shall lay it before the Assembly and it shall be entered in the Votes and Proceedings. On a motion being made for the discharge of the order or suspension, the question thereon shall be decided without amendment or debate. If the question is agreed to, the order shall be discharged and the Member shall be readmitted.
(2) Where several Members present have jointly disregarded the authority of the Chair, the Speaker may suspend them jointly.
137. (1) A Member who is suspended from the Assembly under Rule 136, shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the Assembly and shall not enter those precincts during the period of his suspension
(2) A Member who is suspended under Rule 136 shall during the period of such suspension, forfeit his right of access to the Parliament Chamber, and to any room in which the Assembly or Committee of the Assembly is sitting; voting or serving on a Committee, or lodging questions or notice of motions.
House suspended 138. In the case of grave disorder occurring in the House, the
or adjourned for
grave disorder Speaker without any question put, can-
(a) suspend the Sitting and state the time at which he or she will resume the Chair; or
(b) adjourn the House to the next Sitting day.
Sergeant-at-Arms 139. If a visitor or person other than a Member disturbs the
persons operation of the Chamber or Committee, the Sergeant-at-Arms may remove such a person by use of force.
Member with 140. (1) A Member may not vote in a division on a question
not to vote about a matter, other than public policy, in which he or she has a particular direct or indirect material interest.
(2) The vote of a Member may be challenged on the grounds of the material interest by means of a substantive motion moved immediately after a division is completed. If the motion is carried, the Member’s vote shall be disallowed.
Majority voice 141. (1) All questions proposed for decision in the Assembly
shall be determined by a majority of the Members present and voting.
(2) The Speaker shall put the question by stating its terms to the House and asking Members in favour of or against the question in the following terms-
As many as are of that opinion say ‘Aye’… As many as are of the contrary opinion say ‘No’… and the question shall be resolved by the majority of Members either calling ‘Aye’ or ‘No’. The Speaker shall then state whether the ‘Ayes’ or the ‘Noes’ have it”. If the Speaker’s opinion is challenged by more than ten Members, the question shall be decided by division of the House.
When division 142. (1) A division of the House may take place only after more
may be taken
than ten Members challenge the Speaker’s opinion about whether a question was resolved for the ‘Ayes’ or the ‘Noes’ and calls for a division.
(2) If only one Member calls for a division, that Member may tell the Speaker he or she wishes his or her dissent to be recorded, and the dissent shall be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.
(3) In every instance where the Constitution or an Act of Parliament stipulates that a decision of the Assembly be made by a fixed majority, that is, by a majority other than simply the majority of the votes of the members present and voting-
(a) the House shall not proceed to a division on that question unless and until a number of Members equivalent to such fixed majority is present at the time the division is directed; and
(b) if the division on that question results in a majority of “Ayes,” but less than such fixed majority of all the Members of the House or more, the Speaker shall declare that the Motion has been rejected.
Procedures 143. (1) When the Speaker directs a division to be taken, the
for a division
Clerk shall thereupon ring the division bells for five minutes and the doors shall remain open.
(2) After five minutes have elapsed, the doors shall be locked and no Member may enter or leave the Chamber until after the division and the Speaker has declared the results.
(3) Upon the doors being locked, the Speaker shall-
(a) state the question to the House;
(b) direct the Clerk to call out the name of each Member in alphabetical order.
(4) The Clerk shall record how each Member has voted, whether Aye or No or abstained and report to the Speaker who shall declare the result.
Member to 144. (1) A Member may vote in a division although he did not
vote in a
division hear the question.
(2) Every Member other than the Speaker shall be entitled to vote in a division even though he is in the Chair.
Casting vote 145. Whenever there is an equality of votes on any question, the Speaker, including any Member who is in the Chair shall have a casting vote.
Division held 146. In case of confusion or error occurring in the course of a
of a division concerning the number of names recorded, which cannot otherwise be corrected, the Speaker shall direct the Assembly to proceed to another division.
Deliberative 147. (1) The Speaker or a Deputy Speaker, when presiding, shall
not have a deliberative vote and if the votes of the Assembly are equally
divided upon any question, he or she shall exercise a casting vote.
(2) Any member of the Assembly, when presiding in the Assembly, shall retain his or her original deliberative vote as a member and shall also have a casting vote if the votes are equally divided.
Division in 148. Division in the Committee of the Whole House shall be called
and taken in the same manner as in the House itself.
Secret ballot 149. The Assembly may vote by secret ballot on a question before it in the following circumstances:
(a) on election of a Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chairperson or Vice Chairperson of a Committee;
(b) on a question that a public officer be confirmed by the Assembly as required under the Constitution or Act of Parliament;
(c) in impeachment proceedings of the President or Vice-President under section 86 (2) of the Constitution.
Electronic 150. (1) The Assembly may vote electronically in specified voting
(2) When a vote is to be taken electronically, the Speaker or the Chair shall state that the House will proceed into electronic voting after five minutes of sounding of the division bells.
(3) A Member shall vote by pressing-
(a) the plus or positive button if he or she is in favour of the question;
(b) the minus or the negative button if he or she is against the question; and
(c) the X or cross button if he or she is to abstain.
(4) The results of every vote shall be displayed on the screen instantly.
(5) The Clerk shall enter the results in the Votes and Proceeding and present them to the Speaker for declaration to the House.
Incapacity to 151. Members who are incapacitated by some physical infirmity or vote
disability from participating in the vote, either by division or electronic vote, shall upon reporting their incapacity or disability to the Speaker through the Clerk, be counted and recorded accordingly in the House.
BILLS AND BILL PROCEDURE
Initiation of 152. (1) A Bill may be initiated by-
(a) a Minister on behalf of the Government; a Member in his own right;
(b) an order of the House;
(c) an agency that is not part of the Government.
(2) A Bill not prepared in accordance with these Rules shall be ordered to be withdrawn. Government 153. (1) Every Government Bill shall be accompanied by a Bill Memorandum containing the objects and reasons of the Bill, which shall be signed by, or on behalf of the Attorney General, and, on the face of the Memorandum, may state the originating Ministry and individuals and organizations consulted by Government in the preparation of the Bill, and
Private Members’ 154. (1) Every Member has a right to move a private Members’
Bill after a motion to do so has been moved and carried.
(2) A private Members’ Bill shall be introduced by way of a motion to which the proposed draft of the Bill shall be attached.
(3) A member giving a notice of intention to present a Bill shall deliver the notice in writing to the Clerk.
(4) The notice shall –
(a) specify the title of the Bill;
(b) be signed by the Member.
(5) A notice of intention to present a Bill shall be treated as if it were a notice of motion.
(6) A Member moving a private Members’ Bill shall be afforded reasonable assistance by the office of the Clerk, including technical assistance in the drafting of the Bill and the cost relating to the printing and publication of the Bill shall be met from the funds of the Assembly.
(7) Following the publication of the Bill in the Gazette, the processing of the Bill in the House shall be the same as that followed in respect of a Government Bill.
(3) For purposes of proceedings, a Bill by a portfolio committee shall be treated as a private Members’ Bill.
Officer assist- 155. (1) An officer engaged in the drafting of a Bill on behalf of ing in drafting
to maintain a Member, or to whose knowledge information concerning a Member’s bill confidentiality
or Bill concept comes in the course of his or her duty shall not disclose communication shared with the Member or such information as may be otherwise acquired by the officer in the course of duties, except with the express written permission of the Member.
(2) An officer shall not divulge the contents of a Bill or Bill concept prior to its publication or express withdrawal by the Member originating the Bill.
Private Bills 156. Private Bills shall be subjected to the same procedure as those applicable to Public Bills; but the Assembly may order such Bills to be subjected to such further requirements as the Assembly deems necessary.
Publication 157. (1) The Minister-in-Charge or Member-in-Charge of a Bill
shall deliver to the Clerk a soft copy of the Bill and sufficient hard copies for all Members and, the Clerk shall publish the Bill in the Gazette.
(2) Upon publication of the Bill, the Clerk shall circulate a copy of the Bill to each Member at least 28 days before the Bill is First Read in the House.
(3) Before the Bill is first read in the House, the Clerk shall refer the Bill to the relevant Standing Committee for consideration before the Bill is first read.
Waiver of 158. (1) At any time before a Government Bill is first read, the
Minister in Charge may move without notice that the number of days required by Rule 157 be waived on the grounds of urgency, provided that, the mover of such a motion shall, with particularity, inform the House of the reason for the urgency and the consequences to the nation of not passing the motion, and including the time when the bill should be tabled.
(2) The motion in sub-rule (1) does not require a seconder and is not debatable.
First Reading 159. (1) A Bill shall be “read a first time” by reading aloud the
short title only.
(2) After the provisions of Rule 158 have been complied with, a Bill may be read a first time.
(3) When the First Reading of Bills is reached in the Order of Business for that day, the Speaker shall call upon the Minister in Charge or Member-in-Charge to present the Bill; the Speaker may put a question that the Bill be read a first time and if the motion is carried, the Bill shall thereupon be deemed to have been read a first time.
(4) A motion may be moved without notice to refer a Bill to an ad hoc committee constituted for that purpose to submit the report. The motion may specify the Terms of Reference for the Committee and a date by which the committee is to report to the House.
Second Reading 160. (1) At the conclusion of the First Reading, the Minister-in-Charge or Member-in-Charge may either name a future day to be appointed for the next stage of the Bill or move that the next stage be taken forthwith.
(2) When a Bill has been read a first time, the next stage shall be Second Reading on a motion “That the Bill be now read a second time”.
(3) Amendments may be moved to the question by leaving out “now” and, at the end of the question, adding “ this day 3 months”, “this day 6 months”, or any other specified time, but no other amendment may be moved to such question.
(4) When the Second Reading of Bills is reached in the Order of Business for that day, the Speaker shall call upon the Minister-in-Charge or Member-in-Charge to speak to the motion that the Bill be read a second time.
(5) Thereafter, if a Standing Committee has submitted a Report on the Bill, the Speaker shall call upon the Chairperson of the Committee to present the Report and the House shall debate the report on the Bill at this stage. At the conclusion of debate on the report, the Speaker shall put the question “That the report of the Committee on the Bill be agreed to”.
(6) The Committee Report may include findings on the general merits and principles of the Bill, as well as findings and recommendations on its details, and may recommend such amendments as are relevant to the subject matter of the Bill; if any such amendments are not within the title of the Bill, the Committee shall recommend that the title be amended accordingly.
(5) Thereafter, the Bill may be debated, and notice of amendments may be given, but amendments shall be debated when the Bill is considered by a Committee of the Whole House. Recommendation of amendments in a Committee Report shall constitute notice of proposed amendments.
(6) At the conclusion of the debate, the Speaker shall put the question “That the Bill now be read a second time”, and upon such motion being made and carried, the Bill shall thereupon be deemed to have been read a second time.
Committee 161. (1) At the conclusion of the Second Reading, the
Minister-in-Charge or Member-in-Charge may either name a future day to be appointed for the next stage of the Bill or move that the next stage be taken forthwith.
(2) When a Bill has been read a second time, the next stage shall be the consideration of the Bill by a Committee of the Whole House, Clause by Clause or groups of Clauses on a motion. “That clauses or groups of clauses stand part of the Bill”.
(3) Schedules shall be disposed of in the same way as clauses, and any proposed new Schedule shall be considered after the Schedules to the Bill have been disposed of, and shall be treated in the same way as a new clause.
(4) When every clause and schedule, and proposed new clause or schedule, has been dealt with, the preamble, if there is one, shall be considered and the question put “That the preamble stand part of the Bill”.
Proposed 162. (1) Any proposed amendment of which notice has been
given, shall be handed to the Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole House in writing and circulated to all Members, provided that the Chairperson may relax this provision in the case of simple amendments, and amendments shall be considered when the relevant clause is considered by the Committee of the Whole House.
(2) Consideration of a clause may be postponed, and postponed clauses shall be considered after remaining clauses of the Bill have been considered.
(3) Any proposed new clause may be considered either after the clauses of the Bill have been disposed of and before any consideration of any schedule to the Bill, or at the appropriate time during this stage of the Bill as the Chairperson may determine.
(4) Upon the introduction of a new clause, any amendments may then be proposed to the new clause, and when they have been disposed of, the question shall be proposed “That the clause (or the clause as amended) be added to the Bill”, provided that, if notice is given of an amendment to a new clause, the Member bringing up such amendment may explain it, and the proposed amendment shall be disposed of before the clause is moved.
(5 ) If any amendment to the title of the Bill is made necessary by an amendment to the Bill, it shall be made at the conclusion of the proceedings detailed in Rule 161 (3), but no question shall be put that the title (as amended) stand part of the Bill, nor shall any question be put upon the enacting formula.
(6) At any time during consideration of a Bill in the Committee of the Whole House, a motion may be made to commit, or re-commit, the Bill to a Standing Committee, and if such a motion is carried, proceedings on the Bill in the Committee of the Whole House shall be suspended until the Standing Committee presents its Report.
(7) At any time during consideration of a Bill in the Committee of the Whole House, the Minister-in-Charge or Member-in-Charge may, subject to the discretion of the Chairperson, move a motion “That the Committee of the Whole House do not proceed further with the Bill.” If the motion is carried, the Committee of the Whole House shall proceed to the next stage of the Bill called Report Stage of the Bill.
Report Stage 163. At Report Stage, the Minister- in- Charge or Member-in-Charge shall move-
“That Bill No… passed through Committee Stage with (or without) amendments and that the Third Reading be taken today or at a future time”. The Speaker shall put a question “That the Third Reading of Bill ….. be taken today (or at a future time). If the motion is carried, the Bill shall proceed to Third Reading.
Third Reading 164. (1) After the Committee of the Whole House has
reported a Bill to the Assembly, the Minister-in-Charge or Member of the Bill may either name a future day to be appointed for the next stage of the Bill or move that the next stage be taken forthwith.
(2) When the Committee of the Whole House has reported a Bill to the Assembly, the next stage shall be Third Reading, on a motion “That the Bill be now read for a third time and passed”.
(3) No amendments affecting the substance of the bill to this motion may be moved, except that, with the permission of the Speaker amendments for correction of errors or oversights may be moved, and the debate on the motion shall be confined to the contents of the Bill as reported to the Assembly by the Committee of the Whole House. The Speaker shall put the question “That the Bill be now read a third time and passed”.
Passage of 165. Where the Constitution or an Act of Parliament stipulates that a
Bill by fixed
majority a decision of the Assembly on a Bill or motion be made by a fixed majority, that is, by a majority other than simple majority of the votes of the Members present and voting, the motion “that the Bill be now read a third time and passed” shall be decided by roll call only where a fixed majority of Members is present at the time the division is directed.
Printing of Bill 166. (1) After a Bill has been passed by the Assembly, it shall be
assent fairly printed and copies thereof, certified correct by the Clerk shall as soon as possible be presented to the President for assent accompanied, in the case of a Bill to amend the Constitution, by the Speaker certifying that the Bill was passed with votes of not less than two-thirds of all members of the Assembly.
(2) In the case of other Bills other than a Bill to amend the Constitution, the Bill presented to the President for assent shall be certified as a true impression of the Bill which has been passed by the Assembly, and found to be a true and correctly printed copy of the Bill.
(3) Where a Bill is presented to the President for assent, the President shall either assent or withhold assent and shall do so within twenty-one days from the date the Bill is presented to the President.
(4) Where the President withholds assent to a Bill, the Bill shall be returned to the Speaker by the President with a notification that the President’s assent has been withheld, including reasons therefore, and the Bill shall not be again debated by the National Assembly until after the expiry of twenty-one days from the date of the notification of that withholding.
(5) If the Bill is debated again and passed by a majority of the Assembly at any time between the date of the expiry of the twenty-one days referred to in sub-rule (4) and three months from that date, the Bill shall again be presented for assent by the President.
(6) Where a Bill is again presented to the President for assent in accordance with sub-rule (5), the President shall assent to the Bill within twenty-one days of its presentation.
(7) When a Bill that has been duly passed is assented to in accordance with the Constitution, the Clerk shall cause it to be published immediately in the Gazette.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE
Procedure in 167. (1) On the order of the day being reached and read before
the Whole House going into committee of the Whole House, for any matter standing committed to the Committee of the Whole House-
(a) the Speaker shall declare that the House is now in Committee of the whole House and shall leave the Speaker’s Chair, and
(b) a Deputy Speaker or a member of the Chairperson’s Panel shall take the Chair as Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole House.
(2) When the Speaker has left the Chair, the Mace shall be placed under the Table.
(3) The Committee shall not consider any matter other than a matter which has been referred to it or which it is required by these Rules to consider. (4) A Member may speak more than once to the same question in a Committee of the Whole House.
(5) The Committee may not adjourn its own sitting or the consideration of any matter to a further sitting, but the Member-in-Charge of the business under consideration may by motion be directed, notwithstanding that all matters referred to the Committee have not yet been considered, to report progress to the Assembly and ask leave to sit again.
(6) Save as otherwise provided by these Rules, every report to the House shall be made without question put, and may, by motion, be agreed to or disagreed to by the House or recommitted to the House, or postponed for further consideration.
(7) When a motion is made in the Committee to report progress and ask leave to sit again, the question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.
(8) If disorder occurs in the Committee of the Whole House, the Chairperson may report the matter to the Speaker, who shall resume the Chair without question put.
(9) The proceedings of the Committee of the Whole House shall be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings of the Assembly.
(10) Save as otherwise provided by these Rules, the same provisions for amendments, divisions, debate and the general conduct of business shall be observed in the Committee of the Whole House as in the Assembly.
Restrictions 168. (1) Except upon the recommendation of the Minister
Bills responsible for Finance in writing the Assembly shall not-
(a) proceed upon any Bill, including any amendment to a Bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker, makes provision for any of the following purposes-
(i) the imposition of taxation or the alteration of taxation;
(ii) for the imposition of any charge upon the public revenues or public funds or the alteration of any charge;
(iii) for the payment, issue or withdrawal from the public revenues or public funds of any moneys not charged thereon or any increase in the amount of such payment, issue or withdrawal; or
(iv) for the composition or remission of any debt due to the Government of Malawi;
(b) proceed upon any motion (including any amendment to a motion) the effect of which, in the opinion of the Speaker, would be to make provision for any of those purposes; or
(c) receive any petition that, in the opinion of The Speaker, requests that provision be made for any of these purposes.
(2) Every such recommendation by the Minister responsible for finance shall be addressed to the Speaker.
Annual Estimates 169. (1) When the Assembly meets for the purpose of considering the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the forthcoming financial year, the Minister responsible for Finance shall lay before the Assembly a copy of the Estimates of Expenditure on Revenue and Development Accounts.
(2) The Minister shall then move that the Estimates of Expenditure on Revenue and Development Accounts be committed to a Committee of the Whole House to consider them by Vote and by Head. The Minister in so moving shall explain the financial and economic policy of the Government. After the motion has been moved, the debate thereon shall be adjourned until the next Sitting day.
Debate on 170. (1) On the motion of the Minister responsible for Finance
that the Estimates be referred to a Committee of the Whole House, and on resumption of debate the Speaker shall give the first call to the opposition spokespersons on finance to respond to the motion and the second call to the Chairperson of Budget and Finance Committee before recognizing the rest of the Members in debate.
(2) The budget debate shall be confined to the financial and economic state of Malawi and the general principles of Government policy and administration as indicated by the Estimates.
(3) The budget debate shall last for a period not less than 21 calendar days and the Speaker shall preside over it.
Deputy Speaker 171. (1) The Deputy Speaker shall preside as Chairperson of
Committee of Supply.
(2) The Chairperson shall call each Vote in turn and give the first call to the Minister responsible for Finance who shall initiate debate on the Vote by moving that: “That the sum of K…….. on Vote…….. stand part of estimates”, and unless an amendment is proposed, a debate may take place upon that question.
(3) The Minister responsible for each Vote shall reply to matters raised in debate before question is put on the vote.
(4) The Business Committee shall determine before each sitting day the Vote(s) to be considered and the time for considering such Votes.
Amendments 172. (1) One day’s notice shall be given for any amendment to
be moved in Committee under this Rule.
(2) An amendment to any Vote of expenditure to increase the sum allotted thereto whether in respect of any item or sub-head or of the Vote itself may be moved only by a Minister responsible for Finance. Every such amendment shall take the form of a motion “That Vote ……………… be increased by K………………… in respect of sub-head …………….. item………….”.
(3) An amendment to increase a Vote, whether in respect of any item or sub-head or to the Vote itself, shall take precedence over an amendment to reduce the Vote in the same respect, and if it is carried no amendment to reduce the Vote in that respect shall be called.
(4) An amendment to any Vote to reduce the sum allotted thereto in respect of item thereon may be moved by any Member, and shall take the form of a motion “That vote…….. be reduced by K…. in respect of (or by leaving out) sub-head…… item ………”.
(5) An amendment to reduce a Vote in respect of any sub-head or by leaving out a sub-head shall only be in order if the sub-head is not divided into items.
(6) An amendment to reduce a Vote without reference to a sub-head therein shall only be in order if the Vote is not divided into sub-heads.
(7) An amendment to leave out a Vote shall not be permitted.
(8) In the case of each Vote, amendments in respect of items in sub-heads in that Vote shall be placed upon the Order Paper and considered in the order in which the items or sub-heads to which they refer stand in the Vote in the Estimates.
(9) When notice has been given of two or more amendments to reduce the same item, sub-head or Vote, they shall be placed upon the Order Paper and considered in the order of the magnitude of the reductions proposed, the amendment proposing the largest reduction being placed first in each case.
Focus of debate 173. (1) Debate on every amendment shall be confined to the item, sub-head or Vote to which the amendment refers, and, after an amendment to an item or sub-head has been disposed of, no amendment or debate on a previous item or sub-head of that Vote shall be permitted.
(2) When all amendments in respect of any particular Vote of Expenditure have been disposed of, the Chairperson shall again propose the question “That the sum of K …….. for Vote…… stand part of the Estimates”, or shall propose the amended question “That the (increased) (reduced) sum of K…………. for Vote …… stand part of the Estimates”, as the case may require. The debate on any such question shall be subject to the provision of Rules 170 and 171. Minister to 174. When the Estimates, with or without amendment, are agreed to report
by the Committee, the Minister responsible for finance shall report to the Assembly and shall forthwith move that the Estimates as agreed to by the Committee be adopted, such question being decided without amendment or debate.
Appropriation Bill 175. The Appropriation Bills relating to the Annual Estimates as adopted by the Assembly shall then be presented. Rules 156 and 157 shall not apply. These Bills shall not be subject to a Committee Stage, and the questions on the Second and Third Readings thereof shall be decided without amendment or debate.
Laying of Supple- 176. (1) The Minister responsible for finance shall lay before the
Assembly Supplementary Recurrent Estimates showing the sums required or spent together with relevant Votes, sub-heads and items of expenditure in respect of any Financial Year if it is found-
(a) that the amount appropriated by an Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient or that a need had arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by any Appropriation Act; or
(b) that any moneys have been expended for any purpose in excess of the amount appropriated for that purpose by any Appropriation Act.
Appropriation 177. If at any time it is found that the amount appropriated
Bill by an Appropriation (Development Fund) Act, in respect of any period of any stated development requirement, as the case may be, is insufficient for the development requirements of such period, or for such stated development requirement, or that moneys or liabilities, as the case may be, in excess of the amount so appropriated have been necessarily expended or incurred during such period for such development requirements, as the case may be, the Minister responsible for finance , shall lay before the Assembly further Development Estimates for such period or in respect of such stated development requirement, showing such further sums required or spent in respect of such development requirements or stated development requirement.
Minister of 178. (1) The Minister responsible for finance shall then move
Finance to move
motion that the Supplementary Recurrent Estimates or further Development Estimates be referred to a Committee of the Whole House to consider them by Vote and by Head.
(2) Upon the motion of the Minister responsible for Finance being carried the Supplementary Recurrent Estimates or further Development Estimates shall be considered by a Committee of the Whole House, reported to the Assembly, and their adoption moved by the Minister responsible for finance, in accordance with the procedure set out in Rules 170 to 173 inclusive. (3) Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, the procedures for consideration of Supplementary Recurrent Estimates and further Development Estimates shall be the same as for Estimates of Expenditure on Revenue and Development Accounts for a forthcoming financial year.
Supplementary 179. Appropriation Bills relating to the Supplementary Recurrent
Estimates or further Development Estimates as adopted by the Assembly shall be presented and Rules 156 and 157 will not apply. These Bills shall not be subject to a Committee Stage, and the questions on the Second and Third Readings thereof shall be decided without amendment or debate.
COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Establishment of 180. (1) Pursuant to section 56 (6) of the Constitution the
b>Assembly may establish any committees of its Members and may form joint committees within thirty days of the Meeting of the Assembly after a general election, for the scrutiny of legislation and performance of other functions except voting on motions and Bills.
(2) The Committees established under sub-rule (1) may cover the following areas-
(a) matters relating to a portfolio ministry or any government department or agency;
(b) practices and procedures of the House and its Committees.
(c) matters connected with the operation of Committees;
(d) matters relating to privileges and the Code of Conduct for Members;
(e) Bills and subsidiary legislation;
(f) any matter of urgent importance as referred by the House.
(3) In accordance with sections 56 and 162 of the Constitution, the House shall establish the following Committees-
(a) the Public Appointment Committee;
(b) the Budget and Finance Committee;
(c) the Legal Affairs Committee; and
(d) the Defence and Security Committee
(4) In addition to the Committees established under the Constitution, the House shall establish the following Standing Committees-
(a) the Business Committee;
(b) the Committee of Chairpersons;
(c) the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation;
(d) the Public Accounts Committee;
(e) the portfolio or departmentally related Committees which may include the following-
(i) Industry, Trade and Tourism;
(iii) International Relations;
(iv) Media, Information and Communications;
(v) Agriculture, Irrigation and Natural Resources;
(vi) Education, Science and Technology;
(vii) Social and Community Affairs;
(viii) Transport and Public Infrastructure
(ix) Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises;
(x) Local Authorities and Rural Development; and
(xi) HIV and AIDS.
Duration of 181. (1) The Committees referred to in Rule 180 (4) shall be
Established for the duration of the Parliament;
(a) the Committees referred to in Rule 180 (3) shall be re-appointed annually following the first appointment after a general election;
(b) no member of the Defence and Security Committee shall hold office for more than one year and shall not be re-appointed for the rest of the parliamentary term.
(2) The House may, on a motion by the Leader of the House on behalf of the Business Committee, decide that any Committee other than those established under the Constitution, be dissolved.
Functions of 182. (1) A Committee shall perform such functions as is
conferred on it by the Constitution, an Act of Parliament, a resolution or Rules of the Assembly.
(2) Notwithstanding sub-rule (1), a committee may examine such matters within its remit (referred to as “competent matters”) as it may determine appropriate or as may be referred to it by the Assembly and shall report to the House on any such matter.
Powers of 183. (1) The powers of every Committee shall include-
(a) summoning or subpoenaing any person to attend and give evidence before a Committee at a stated time and place;
(b) requiring any person to disclose and produce to
the Committee any papers and records in that person’s control, possession and custody relevant to the Committee’s proceedings;
(c) creating subcommittees of its members for specific tasks;
(d) delegating to its subcommittees all its powers
except the power to report to the Assembly;
(2) If any person summoned to attend before a Committee or to produce papers and records does not comply with the summons, the Committee may report this fact to the House which may invoke the
Cap. 2:04 provisions of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act.
Membership of 184. (1) The membership of each committee shall be decided by
the Assembly on the recommendation of the Business Committee.
(2) Party Whips shall submit to the Business Committee names of members of their parties for designation to committee membership: provided that a Member may indicate to the party whips his or her interest in serving on a particular committee depending on their competencies.
(3) The Business Committee shall designate independent Members to Committees on the same conditions as members belonging to parties.
(4) In proposing a member to a Committee, the Business Committee shall have regard to the balance of political parties represented in the National Assembly and, where that member has expressed an interest in serving on that committee, to his or her qualifications and experience as indicated by him or her.
(5) A Member shall serve on a Committee for the duration of that Committee unless-
(a) he or she resigns from that office by intimating his or her resignation to the Business Committee;
(b) a Party Whip recommends to the Business Committee to replace the Member or remove him or her from the Committee;
(c) he or she is removed for a good cause by the House on a motion moved by the Chairperson or any other Member designated by that Committee; or
(d) he or she ceases to be a member of the National Assembly otherwise than by virtue of a dissolution.
(6) Unless otherwise provided in these Rules or by resolution of the House, a Committee may have at least five but not more than fifteen Members.
(7) A change may be communicated to the House regarding the membership of a Committee upon the recommendation of the Business Committee: Provided that, if a Member whose appointment is to be changed belongs to a party represented in the National Assembly, the party through the Whip shall propose the change to the Business Committee.
(8) Without limiting the rights of parties under this Rule, when designating members to Committees, parties shall consider Members’ interests and expertise and the benefits to the National Assembly of reasonable continuity in Committee membership.
(9) A Member shall not be replaced on a Committee during any period in which the Member is suspended from the service of the House under Rules 135 to 137 unless the House so decides.
(10) A Member shall lose his membership of a Committee if he fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Committee without acceptable reasons submitted in writing to the Chairperson and discussed in the Committee. A Chairperson shall lose his membership of a Committee if he fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Committee without acceptable reasons submitted in writing to the Speaker.
(11) A Minister or Deputy Minister shall not be a Member of any Committee of the House except the Business Committee.
Questions 185. (1) Any question whether a matter is within the remit of a
competence committee shall be determined by the Business Committee in consultation with the Committee of Chairpersons.
(2) If a matter falls within the remit of more than one committee, the House may, on a motion of the Business Committee, designate one of the committees as lead committee responsible for that matter. The other committee or committees may report its or their opinions to the lead committee, without prejudice to sub-rule (3).
(3) The Business Committee shall consult the Committee of Chairpersons before proposing a motion under sub-rule (2).
Joint consider- 186. (1) Where a matter falls within the remit of more than one
Committees Committee, the Committees concerned may, with the agreement of the Speaker, consider that matter jointly.
(2) Where a matter is to be considered jointly under sub-rule (1), any meeting to consider that matter shall be held jointly by the Committees concerned with no more than five members from each of the Committee. Such a meeting may be convened by the chairperson of any of those Committees. At such a meeting, the chairperson of any of those committees may take the chair.
(3) Any report on the joint consideration of a matter shall be produced jointly by those committees.
(4) Any of those Committees may establish a sub-committee under Rule 197 to consider the matter jointly with a sub-committee of another of those Committees.
Business 187. (1) The Business Committee shall consist of –
(a) the Speaker;
(b) the Deputy Speaker/s;
(c) Leader of the House;
(d) Government Chief Whip;
(e) Leader of the Opposition;
(f) Opposition Party Whips.
Provided that any political party which is represented by less than ten (10) members in the House shall not be entitled to membership of the Business Committee.
(2) The Speaker shall be the Chairperson and in the absence of the Speaker, one of the Deputy Speakers shall be the Chairperson.
(3) The Clerk shall be the Secretary.
Functions 188. (1) The functions of the Business Committee shall include-
(a) proposing the programme of business to be brought before the Assembly during any meeting of the Assembly.
(b) examining business items received from the Government and private Members before they are published in the Business Bulletin to be prepared and circulated by the Clerk;
(c) determining -
(i) the order of business to be transacted in each week and at each sitting;
(ii) the days, sittings and amount of time allocated for debate in the Assembly;
(iii) the total number of Members to any Committee of the Assembly.
(d) performing such other powers and functions as are conferred on by these Rules or by the House.
(2) On the basis of the business programme and other decisions of the House and the Speaker, the Clerk shall publish the Order Paper containing details of business to be considered by the House on each sitting day.
(3) The Business Bulletin shall include the business programme, the daily business list, agendas for committee meetings, notices of motions, summary of questions for oral replies, bills or subsidiary legislation to be introduced in the House and any other item which requires to be notified to Members.
(4) The House may, on a motion by the Leader of the House in respect of Government Business or any member in respect of Private Members Business, make alterations to the Order Paper.
Public Appoint- 189. A Public Appointments Committee shall be appointed to, inter
alia, perform the following functions-
(a) scrutinize, consider and enquire into the competence of public appointees under the Constitution and report to the House;
(b) confirm the nominations by the President of certain public appointees and consider and report on any matters relating to public appointments under the Constitution or any other written law;
(c) consider and recommend to the Assembly salaries, benefits and allowances for the Chief Justice and other holders of judicial office and public office as may be prescribed by the Constitution or an Act of Parliament;
Budget and 190. A Budget and Finance Committee shall be appointed to,
Committee inter alia,-
(a) study and scrutinize the Government reports on financial and economic issues and policies of the Government, including statistical information relating to international financial agreements;
(b) create public awareness and involvement in formulation of government budget, financial and economic policies.
(c) scrutinize government domestic and international borrowing policies;
(d) consider and scrutinize any report or other document laid before the House by the Minister responsible for Finance containing proposals for, or budgets of, public expenditure or proposals for making of a tax-vary resolution, taking into account any report or recommendations concerning such documents made to them by any other committee with power to consider such documents or any part thereof;
(e) review bills with financial and budgetary implications;
(f) engage the Minister responsible for Finance in the process of formulating the budget and monitoring the budget throughout its cycle;
(g) examine the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure presented to the House by the Minister of Finance and report to the House;
(h) receive any reports made by any Committee setting out proposals concerning public expenditure or the annual budget estimates for the respective Government Ministries and Departments and incorporate recommendations thereon in its report to the House.
Legal Affairs 191. A Legal Affairs Committee shall be appointed to, inter alia,
perform the following functions-
(a) investigate and make report on such matters concerning the administration of the law as the Assembly may refer to the Committee;
(b) consider reports submitted to the House by constitutional bodies and report to the House;
(c) exercise oversight over the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions;
(d) inquire into and report on the practices and procedures of the House and its Committees;
(e) review the procedures and practice in the Assembly and its Committees on an ongoing basis and recommend such amendments, modifications or improvements as the Committee sees fit;
(f) make a comprehensive review of the Standing Orders at the expiry of each parliamentary term and make proposals for changes to be considered by the next Parliament.
Defence and 192. A Defence and Security Committee shall be appointed
to inter alia, consider on matters relating to defence and security and report any matter relevant to its jurisdiction, or which the House may refer to it.
Public 193. (1) A Public Accounts Committee shall be appointed to
Committee inter alia,-
(a) consider and report on audited public accounts by the Auditor General and such other public accounts laid before the Assembly;
(b) examine any other document laid before the Assembly concerning financial controls, accounting and auditing in relation to public expenditure.
(2) In discharging its functions under this Rule, the Committee shall satisfy itself that-
(a) the expenditure was confined to the authority which governed it;
(b) the monies shown in the accounts as having been disbursed were legally available for and applicable to, the services or purpose to which they have been applied or charged;
(c) verify if the expenditure has been made in accordance with the provisions made in this behalf under appropriate rules; and (d) cases involving nugatory expenditure and financial irregularities wherever they have occurred in the financial year under study, having regard to the Auditor General’s report and the estimates as approved by the House are subject to scrutiny.
Committee on 194. A Committee on Subsidiary Legislation shall be appointed
Legislation to consider and report on-
(a) any subsidiary legislation laid before the House and any statutory instruments promulgated under an Act of Parliament;
(b) proposed powers to make subsidiary legislation by any authority;
(c) general questions relating to whether powers to make subsidiary legislation are being properly exercised by any person or authority within such delegation;
(d) to examine whether any statutory instrument being promulgated-
(i) is in accordance with the Constitution or the statute under which it is made;
(ii) does not trespass unduly on personal rights and liberties;
(iii) is concerned only with administrative detail and not amount to substantive legislation which is a matter for the House.
(2) The Minister, body or authority in charge of such subsidiary legislation or statutory instrument shall promptly provide copies to the Committee as soon as such documents are published in the Gazette.
Committee of 195. (1) There shall be appointed a Committee of all Chair-Chairpersons
persons of Standing Committees.
(2) The function of the Committee of Chairpersons shall include-
(a) to consider and make recommendations in connection with operation of committees, except the Business Committee;
(b) making recommendations on committee workplans in line with the budget of the Assembly;
(c) coordinate activities and monitor the implementation of Committee work plans;
(d) to report to and be consulted by the Business Committee on any decision on joint consideration by Committees under Rule 185;
(e) to report to and be consulted by the Business Committee on questions regarding competence under Rule 185;
(f) to refer matters to the Business Committee or the Parliamentary Service Commission where it considers appropriate to do so.
(3) The Speaker shall be the chairperson of the Committee of Chairpersons.
(4) The Clerk shall be the Secretary.
Portfolio or 196. (1) Any Committee appointed under Rule 180(4)(e) Departmentally
Related may -
(a) inquire into and report on any matter referred to it either by the House, including pre-legislation proposal, bill, motion, petition, vote or expenditure, other financial matter, report or document;
(b) make any inquiry into annual reports of government ministries, departments, commissions or statutory authorities or state-owned enterprises presented to the House.
(c) study the programmes and policy objectives of their respective assigned Ministries, statutory corporations and public bodies funded by the Treasury and the effectiveness for their implementation;
(2) Any inquiry and presentation of a report by a Committee under paragraph (b) shall not exceed twelve months from the date of the commencement of the inquiry. (3) A Portfolio or Departmentally related Committee shall have not more than fifteen members. PART XXVI OPERATION OF COMMITTEES Rules for House 197. The Rules applying to the House shall also apply to committees to apply to Committees with and sub-committees, subject to rules in this Part. modifications Sub-committees 198. (1) A Committee may appoint sub-committees of three or more of its members and may refer to a sub-committee any matter which the Committee may examine.
(2) A Committee shall appoint the Chair of each sub-committee. If the Chair of a sub-committee is not present at a meeting of a sub-committee, the members of the sub-committee present shall elect another member to act as Chair at the meeting.
Quorum 199. (1) The quorum of each Committee and sub-committee shall be the majority of its members.
(2) A Committee may proceed with business irrespective of the number of members present but any question shall be decided only if a quorum is present.
(3) If a quorum is not present within 30 minutes of the appointed hour of meeting and a question has to be decided before further proceedings are taken, the chairperson shall either suspend the business or adjourn the meeting.
(4) In the event of an equality of votes, the chairperson shall exercise a casting vote in an addition to the chairperson’s vote as a member.
Proceedings 200. (1) A Committee or a sub-committee may conduct
of Committee proceedings using any means approved by the House and in the
(a) in a meeting open to the public unless the Committee decides to hold its meeting in private;
(b) by hearing witnesses, either in public or private; or
(c) in the form of any other meeting, discussion or inspection conducted under the practice of committees in the House.
(2) A Committee or sub-committee may conduct proceedings at any time and place as it sees fit, and whether or not the House is sitting.
Chairpersons of 201. (1) At its first meeting, or at its first meeting after Committees
vacancy occurs in the office, a Committee shall elect a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson. A first meeting of the Committee after a general election shall be convened by the Clerk.
(2) No member shall chair more than one Committee of the House nor be Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson at the same time.
(3) A Commissioner shall not be elected a Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of any Committee.
(4) The duties of the Chairperson shall be-
(a) to convene meetings of a Committee;
(b) to preside at meetings of the Committee;
(c) to provide leadership to the Committee;
(d) to sign all requests or summons to any person to attend and give evidence before a Committee or to produce papers and records in that person’s possession or custody relevant to the proceedings;
(e) to act in any matter on behalf of and in the best interest of the Committee when it is not practical to convene a meeting to discuss the matter if the matter concerns:
(i) a request by a person to give evidence or make oral representations to the Committee;
(ii) any other request to the Committee; or
(iii) the initiation of any steps or decisions necessary for the Committee to perform its functions or exercise its powers;
(5) In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall exercise all the powers of the Chairperson and in the absence of both the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson, the members of the Committee present at the meeting and forming a quorum shall elect one of their number to act as Chairperson at that meeting. The elected person shall exercise all the powers of the Chairperson.
Removal of 202. (1) A Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Committee Chairperson
may be removed by Members of the Committee on a motion supported by two thirds of all Members of the Committee on any of the following grounds-
(b) misconduct or misbehaviour;
(c) failure or refusal without justifiable reason to execute the duties of the Committee.
(2) The motion for removal of the Chairperson or Deputy
Chairperson shall be initiated by not less than one-third of the Members of the Committee by giving seven days notice to Members of the Committee, including the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson, and to the Speaker, that they are dissatisfied with the conduct or performance of the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson and intend to move a motion for his or her removal.
(3) The motion shall not be debated before the expiration of fourteen days after a copy of the notice is received by the Speaker.
(4) The Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson in respect of whom a motion of removal is to be moved is entitled during the debate to be heard in his or her defence.
(5) The Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson in respect of whom proceedings for removal have commenced shall not preside over any proceeding of the Committee.
(6) The Committee shall make a report in the House on the removal of the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson.
Procedure for 203. (1) The procedure in a committee shall be as nearly as
possible the same as that in the Committee of the Whole House.
(2) The minutes of a Committee meeting shall be kept in the same form as the Votes and Proceedings of the Committee of the Whole House: Provided that where a vote on a question is not unanimous the names of the Members voting for and against the question or declining to vote respectively shall be recorded in the minutes.
(3) A Committee may continue its deliberations although the House is adjourned or Parliament is prorogued.
(4) The deliberations of a committee shall be confined to its jurisdiction, any matter referred to it by the House within its jurisdiction and any extension or limitation thereof directed by the House.
(5) A committee may meet during meetings of the House and between meetings of the House unless otherwise directed by the Business Committee.
(6) The Clerk to the Committee shall ensure that, except in extraordinary circumstances of an urgent nature, all Committee members receive notice of dates and places of meetings at least seven days before the meetings.
Division in 204. (1) Every division in a Committee shall be taken by the
Clerk to the Committee asking each Member of the Committee separately how he or she desires to vote and recording the votes accordingly.
(2) In taking the division, the names of all Members of the Committee present shall be called in alphabetical order.
(3) When a division is claimed in a Committee, every member of the Committee present shall, unless he or she expressly states that he or she declines to vote, record his or her vote either “Aye” or “No”. The Clerk to the Committee shall enter in the minutes of the proceedings the record of each Member’s vote, and where the total number of Members voting is less than the prescribed quorum, shall add a statement showing the number of Members who were present but did not vote.
(4) As soon as the Clerk has collected the votes he or she shall state the number of Members voting “Aye” or “No” respectively, and the Chairperson shall then declare the result of the division.
(5) If a Member of the Committee states that he or she voted in error or that his or her vote has been wrongly counted, he or she may claim to have his or her vote altered, provided that such request is made as soon as the Clerk to the Committee has announced the number and before the Chairperson had declared the result of the division.
(6) An entry shall be made in the proceedings of every Committee of the names of the Members attending each meeting and of every motion or amendment proposed in the Committee, together with the names of the movers thereof. If any division takes place, the Clerk attending such Committee shall record the names of the Members voting. All such entries shall be part of the repot of the Committee to the Assembly.
Witnesses and 205. (1) A Committee may call for witnesses to attend
its meetings and for documents to be produced before it.
(2) Every person appearing before a committee to give evidence shall take an oath or make an affirmation which shall be administered by the clerk to the committee.
(3) The examination of witnesses shall be conducted in such a manner as the Chairperson, with the approval of the Committee, directs.
(4) The Chairperson, and every member through the Chairperson, may put questions to a witness.
(5) A witness may be accompanied by a legal practitioner of his or her choice.
(6) A Committee may consider and make use of the evidence and records of similar Committees appointed during previous Parliaments.
(7) The Clerk to the Committee shall record the proceedings of the Committee in the minutes of proceedings. The minutes shall be confirmed by the Committee and then signed by the Chair.
(8) Documents presented and circulated to the Committee shall be signed by the Clerk to the Committee.
(9) All persons appearing before a Committee shall observe such directions and conform to such rules as the Chairperson shall require. Witnesses summoned to give evidence before a Committee shall be paid reasonable transport and accommodation expenses on such conditions and at such rates as the Speaker may determine. The Clerk of the Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that only legitimate expenses are paid.
Questions to 206. (1) The Chairperson shall take care to ensure that all witnesses and
objections questions put to a witness are relevant to the committee’s proceedings and that the information sought by those questions is necessary for the purpose of those proceedings.
(2) A witness may object to a question on the ground that it is not relevant. The Chairperson will then determine whether it is relevant to the Committee’s proceedings.
(3) Where a witness objects on any ground to answer a relevant question put to the witness, he or she shall be invited to state the ground upon which objection to answering the question is taken.
(4) Where a witness objects to answering a question on any ground, the Committee, unless it decides immediately that the question should not be pressed, shall then consider in private whether it shall insist upon an answer to the question, having regard to the importance to the proceedings of the information sought by the question.
(5) If the Committee decides that it requires an answer to the question, the witness shall be informed of that decision, and shall be required to answer the question.
(6) The Committee may decide that the public interest would best be served by hearing the answer in private.
(7) Where a witness declines to answer a question to which the Committee requires an answer, the committee may report this fact to the House, and may seek the remedies available to the Committee and the House pursuant to applicable laws.
Irrelevant and 207. Where a witness gives evidence that contains allegations
allegations against, or that may seriously damage, the reputation of a person and the Committee is not satisfied that that evidence is relevant to its proceedings or is satisfied that the evidence creates a risk of harm to that person, which risk exceeds the benefit of the evidence, the Committee shall give consideration-
(a) to returning any written evidence and requesting that it be resubmitted without the offending material;
(b) to excluding that evidence from any transcript of evidence;
(c) to seeking an order of the House preventing the disclosure of that evidence.
Opportunity to 208. Where evidence is given or a statement is made during
allegation the proceedings of a Committee that contains allegations against or that may seriously damage the reputation of a person, the Committee shall take steps to have that person informed of that evidence or statement and to have a reasonable opportunity to respond to that evidence or statement within a reasonable time by written submission or appearance before the Committee.
Transcripts of 209. (1) The evidence given before a Committee shall be
recorded and transcribed.
(2) A witness may within 48 hours from the time of receipt of the copy suggest corrections to his or her evidence due to inaccurate reporting and the evidence shall be printed with such corrections as may be approved by the Chairperson.
(3) Any such transcripts shall be reported to the House along with the Committee’s report.
Return of 210. A Committee may return, or exclude from any transcript of
proceedings, any evidence or statement that it considers to be irrelevant to its proceedings, offensive or possibly defamatory.
Access to 211. A Committee shall give a witness reasonable access to any material
material or other information that the witness has produced to the Committee.
Private evidence 212. (1) A Committee may order any visitor to withdraw from
its meeting if it considers that it is desirable that some or all of the evidence to be given should be heard in private.
(2) Evidence heard in private shall be confidential to the Committee until it reports to the House.
(3) A witness shall be given the opportunity to make a submission in writing before appearing to give oral evidence.
Admission of 213. (1) A Committee may admit visitors when it is examining
a witness or gathering information in other proceedings.
(2) All visitors shall leave if-
(a) requested by the Chair;
(b) the Committee resolves that they leave; or
(a) the Committee is deliberating or hearing witnesses in private.
Staff of 214. (1) Each Committee shall have Committee staff including a
Committee Clerk, a Parliamentary Counsel, a Parliamentary Researcher and, may, through the office of the Clerk, engage the services of technical consultants.
(2) The Clerk shall allocate a Researcher and a Clerk to each committee on a reasonably permanent basis.
(3) The Committee staff shall liaise with the Chairperson on the programming of Committee meetings, agendas, and budgets for each committee, and shall be responsible to the Chairperson, through the Clerk, for the effective functioning of the Committee.
Consideration 215. (1) When a Committee has completed consideration
of report of the matters referred to it, the Chairperson shall prepare and bring up
a report for the consideration of the Committee.
(2) The Committee shall then go through the report paragraph by paragraph and the provisions of Rule 161 relating to Committee Stage shall apply as if the report were a Bill and the paragraphs thereof and schedules, if any, thereto were like clauses and schedules of a Bill.
(3) Upon conclusion of the consideration of the report the Chairperson shall put the question, “That this Report be the Report of the Committee to the Assembly.”
(4) When a report of a Committee is agreed to by the Committee, the Chair or some other member authorized by the Committee in that behalf, shall sign the report on behalf of the committee.
Presentation of 216. (1) All reports of Committees shall be serially numbered in
each session by the Clerk and, a committee report whether adopted or rejected or noted by the House shall be deposited with the Parliament Librarian, along with minutes and evidence related to the report.
(2) A final report or special report shall contain the minutes of the proceedings and any evidence taken before that Committee.
(3) The report of a Committee shall be presented to the House by the Chairperson or other Member designated by the Committee and shall be ordered to lie on the Table without question put.
(4) When a day is fixed by the Business Committee for the presentation of committee’s report, the final report shall be presented on that day, unless the House grants further time.
(5) After presentation the report of a Committee may be taken into consideration on a motion by the Chairperson “That the Report of the Committee be agreed to” after one day’s notice.
(6) After consideration of the Report the House may agree or disagree or decline to agree or disagree with the recommendations in the report in whole or in part, provided that amendments to Bills recommended by the Committee shall also be considered in accordance with Rule 161.
Government’s 217. (1) When a Committee Report has been adopted by the
committee reports House, the Clerk shall transmit the decision of the House to the appropriate ministry or other public office which shall deliver a written response, through the appropriate Minister to the House.
(2) The response in sub rule 1 to the House shall be in the form:-
(a) A ministerial statement to the House by the Minister responsible for the matter in question;
(b) Oral representation by the Minister responsible for the matter in question or by his or her designated representative to the relevant Committee, when the House is not meeting.
Publication of 218. (1) A Committee’s proceedings, evidence, documents or
report thereof, shall not be published by any Member of the Committee, or by any other person, until the report of that Committee has been tabled in the House.
(2) A Committee may resolve to-
(a) publish press releases, discussion papers or other documents, or preliminary findings; or
(b) divulge evidence, documents, proceedings or reports on a confidential basis to persons for comment.
Power to 219. (1) A Committee may, from time to time, make an interim
time to time report informing the House of some of its findings and recommendations on a Bill or other matter before it or on the progress of its investigation into a Bill or other matter.
(2) A Committee may from time to time make a special report to the House seeking authority from the House to do something, or seeking guidance from the House on some procedural question, which has occurred in the Committee, or informing the House of some other matter connected with its proceedings which it considers should be reported to the House.
Opportunity to 220. As soon as practicable after a Committee has determined any
by person named findings to be included in a report to the House, and prior to the
in a report
presentation of the report, any person named in the report whose reputation may in the opinion of the Chairperson be seriously damaged by those findings shall be informed of any such findings and afforded a reasonable opportunity to make submissions to the Committee on them. The Committee shall take such submissions into account before making its report to the House.
Charges against 221. (1) A Committee may not enquire into, or make findings in
respect of, the private conduct of any Member of the House, unless it is specially directed by the House to do so.
(2) If any information comes before a Committee or any allegation is made to a Committee charging any Member with reprehensible conduct, the Committee shall inform the Member concerned of the details of the charge and refer the matter to the House.
TIME LIMITS FOR DEBATES AND SPEECHES
Maximum 222. (1) The maximum period for which a Member may speak
on any subject indicated in this Rule, and the maximum period for any debate, shall not, unless otherwise ordered, exceed the periods specified as follows-
(a) President’s Speech
(i) Mover of the Motion on President’s speech (20 minutes)
(ii) Seconder (5 minutes)
(iii) Leader of the Opposition (1 hour)
(vi) Other leaders of opposition parties (30 minutes each)
(v) Other Members (10 minutes per Member)
(b) Ministerial Statement (20 minutes)
(i) Members’ questions (2 minutes per member)
(ii) Minister in reply (5 minutes)
(i) Second Reading Speech (20 minutes)
(ii) Committee Chairperson’s Report (15 minutes)
(iii) Other Members (5 minutes per member)
(iv) Minister in reply (5 minutes)
(v) Speech to amendment (5 minutes per speech)
(i) Minister delivering Statement (unlimited)
(ii) Opposition Spokespersons on Finance (30 minutes each)
(iii) Budget and Finance Committee Report (30 minutes)
(iv) Other Members (10 minutes per Member)
(v) Minister in reply (unlimited)
(e) Personal Explanation (5 minutes)
(f) Point of Order (1 minute)
(g) Supplementary Question (1 minute)
(h) Private Members Business
(i) Mover (20 minutes)
(ii) Seconder (5 minutes)
(iii) Other Members (10 minutes per Member)
(iv) In reply (10 minutes)
(g) Matter of Urgent Public Importance (Mover: 10 minutes – any other Member 5 minutes)
(j) Constituency Statements
(i) Member (5 minutes)
(k) Committee Reports
(a) Chairperson (20 minutes)
(b) Seconder (5 minutes)
(c) Other Members (5 minutes)
(d) In reply (10 minutes)
(l) Delegation Reports
(a) Leader of Delegation (10 minutes)
(b) Other Members (5 minutes)
(c) In Reply (10 minutes )
(m) Maiden Speeches
Members making maiden speeches (15 minute per member)
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of time limits, the House may, on a motion made by any member in accordance with the provisions of this Rule, impose a limit in respect of debate on any particular motion by allotting a limited period of time for such debate or by limiting the time during which members may speak in such debate or by imposing both such limitations: Provided that such motion shall not be made in the course of the debate to which it refers unless it is moved after an adjournment of such debate and before the debate is resumed.
Admission of 223. (1) The Speaker shall control the admission of any visitor
into the precincts of the Assembly.
(2) Only the Speaker shall have the right of admitting a visitor into the lower galleries, and may admit a distinguished visitor to a seat on the floor of the Chamber.
(3) A visitor may be present in the Chamber in place set apart for him or her, but shall withdraw when called upon to do so by the Speaker or the Chairperson.
(4) If at any sitting of the House or in a Committee of the whole House any Member shall move that a visitor be ordered to withdraw, the Speaker or the Chairperson shall forthwith put the question, no amendment, adjournment or debate being allowed and upon such question being resolved in the affirmative the visitor shall be ordered to withdraw from the Chamber.
(5) A visitor shall observe the Speaker’s instructions regarding good order.
(6) Any Officer of the Assembly may remove, or cause to be removed, any visitor from any part of the Chamber appropriated to the Members only, and also any visitor who, having been admitted into any other part of the Chamber while the Assembly or any Committee of the whole House is sitting, misconducts himself or herself or does not withdraw when directed.
(7) Any media house whose representative infringes any of these Rules or any rule made by the Speaker for the regulation of the admission of a visitor may be excluded from representation in the Press Gallery for such period and on such terms as the Assembly may direct.
SUB JUDICE RULE
A matter before 224. (1) Subject to the right of the House to legislate on any
a court of law
matter, a matters awaiting or under adjudication in any court of record shall not be referred to in any motion, debate or question, from the time the case has been set down for trial or otherwise before the court, if there is a real danger of prejudice to the trial of the case.
(2) This Rule shall cease to have effect in any case when the verdict and sentence have been announced or judgment given or, in any case where notice of appeal is given, the appeal has been decided.
Question of 225. (1) A breach of the rights of the Assembly or of the
parliamentary rights of any member constitutes a question of privilege under the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act.
(2) A member wishing to raise a question of privilege shall give written notice containing a brief statement of the question to the Speaker and, if practicable, to any person whose conduct may be called into question.
(3) The notice in this sub-rule (2) shall be lodged at least two hours before commencement of a sitting.
(4) If the Speaker is of the opinion that the matter may not be fairly dealt with at that time, he or she may defer debate on the matter until such time as he or she determines.
(5) If the Member whose conduct is called into question is not present, the matter shall be deferred to the next day that the Member is present unless the Speaker rules that, in the circumstances, the matter be dealt with in the member’s absence.
(6) A Member may always raise a question of privilege in the Assembly immediately after a word alleged to amount to breach of privilege is uttered or an event occurs that give rise to the question, in which case the written notice required under sub-rule (2) shall not be required.
(7) The Speaker may allow such debate as he or she thinks appropriate in order to determine whether a prima facie case of breach of privilege has taken place and whether the matter is being raised at the earliest opportunity, and, if the Speaker so rules, any Member may give notice not later than at the conclusion of the next sitting day of a motion to deal with the matter further.
(8) If the Speaker rules that there is no prima facie case of privilege or that the matter has not been raised at the earliest opportunity, there shall be no further proceedings on the matter.
(9) Unless otherwise directed by the Assembly, it is not a breach of privilege for a Member of a Committee to discuss with other members of the Assembly, in confidence, matters that are under consideration by the Committee.
DUTIES OF SERGEANT-AT-ARMS
Remit of 226. The remit of the Sergeant-at-Arms shall include-
(a) alerting the House on the Speakers procession by sounding Division Bells;
(b) announcing the arrival of the Speaker in the chamber each sitting day by beating a drum;
(c) attending the Speaker, with the Mace, on entering the Assembly at the commencement of a sitting day and on leaving the Assembly at the conclusion of a sitting day;
(d) preserving order in and ensure the security of the galleries and lobbies of the Assembly;
(e) serving or cause to be served orders of the Assembly and warrants of the Speaker;
(f) restraining and confining all persons ordered by the Assembly to be taken into custody;
(g) be responsible for the safekeeping of the Mace and of the furniture and fittings of the Assembly;
(h) facilitating the booking service for visitors to Parliament, in particular, school children, other groups and individuals;
(i) managing the attendance registers;
(j) preparing Committee rooms for Committee meetings; and
(k) ensuring cleanliness and security of the precincts of the Assembly.
VISITING HEADS OF STATE AND DIGNITARIES
The Speaker 227. (1) The Speaker shall, in consultation with members of the
cate to House Business Committee, communicate to the House and allow a visiting Head of State or such other dignitary, to address the House.
Chair of 228. A visiting Head of State shall address the House from the Chair
of State but the address shall not constitute business of the House.
Address 229. A visiting dignitary, other than a Head of State shall address
from the Chair
of Speaker the House from the Chair of the Speaker, but the address shall not constitute business of the House.
Application 230. A visiting dignitary shall be exempted from the general
of the House application of these Rules.
PRESIDENT ATTENDING PARLIAMENT ON OTHER OCCASIONS
Opening of 231. (1) Immediately before the consideration of the
Meeting National Budget, the President shall attend Parliament and address the Assembly on the State of the Nation and on policies of the Government.
(2) In addressing Parliament on the State of Nation, the President shall elucidate matters pertaining to the overall administration of the Government.
Question to 232. (1) Where the President is required to respond to questions
in accordance with the provisions of Section 89 (3)(c) of the Constitution, he or she may delegate such function to a member of the Cabinet.
(2) Any question under sub-rule (1) shall be responded to in accordance with the provision of Part XVIII of these Rules.
PARLIAMENTARY WOMEN’S CAUCUS
Recognition 233. (1) Parliament shall take cognizance of the Parliamentary
Women’s Women’s Caucus (hereinafter “the Women’s Caucus”) as a cross party group
Caucus of all female members of the National Assembly including a female Speaker or Deputy Speaker and female Cabinet Minister or Deputy Minister.
(2) The Women’s Caucus shall not be a Committee of the House but shall act as a supplement to the work of the House and its Committees by advocating and promoting gender ideals in an effort to inform the policy and legislative business before the House and Committees in order to conform with principles of gender equality, women empowerment and good governance.
(3) Subject to Sub-rule (4), the Women’s Caucus may develop its Terms of Reference for the conduct of its affairs.
(4) In transacting the business of the Assembly, the Women’s Caucus shall apply procedures and rules followed in Committees of the Assembly.
PUBLICATIONS AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT
Newspapers, 234. Subject to these Rules, and except with the leave of the Speaker,
etc. Members shall not read newspapers or periodicals, or books or, use mobile telephones or handsets or use notebook computers in the Chamber of the House.
Broadcast of 235. (1) The Speaker shall give directions to the office of the
Clerk for the arrangement of proceedings of meetings of the House to be broadcast in such manner and subject to such conditions as the House may determine in a Code of Conduct relating to broadcasting of proceedings of the House.
(2) Until such a Code of Conduct has been made by the House, the office of the Speaker may make such arrangements for the broadcast of proceedings at meetings of the House as it sees fit.
Dress code 236. (1) The official dress for male Members of the National Assembly shall be a lounge suit, a pair of long trousers, a tie and jacket.
(2) The official dress for female Members of the national Assembly shall be a formal dress, dress suit or skirt suit, traditional dress or suit, short or long sleeved or formal executive trouser suit.
ATTENDANCE BY AND DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS
Leave of 237. (1) A Member shall attend each sitting of the House unless absence
he or she is granted leave of absence by the Speaker.
(2) The Speaker may attach conditions to an authority to grant leave of absence and may withdraw that authority at any time.
(3) Leave of absence may be granted on the following grounds only-
(a) for illness or other family cause of a personal nature; or
(b) to enable the Member attend to public business, whether in Malawi or abroad.
(4) A Party Whip shall ensure that the Speaker is informed of any absence before the start of a Sitting.
Vacation of 238. (1) For the purposes of section 63 (1) (f) of the
Seat by a
Member Constitution, a Member shall vacate his seat in the National Assembly if he is absent without the written permission of the Speaker from three successive Meetings of the Assembly.
(2) A Member shall be removed from membership of the National Assembly for good and sufficient cause under Section 63 (1) (f) of the Constitution.
(3) The Speaker in exercise of powers given to him or her under section 65 of the Constitution shall cause to be given to the Member alleged to have crossed the floor a copy of the petition. On receipt of such a copy, a member shall respond within 7 days to the Speaker on the allegations. After expiration of the 7 days, the Speaker shall give a ruling on an appointed date, known to the Member or party and the petitioner, on the petition in the Chamber.
(4) The House shall appoint an ad hoc committee from among its membership to investigate and accord the member an opportunity to be heard: provided that the House shall give clear terms of reference to the ad hoc committee so appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, any written law and these Rules.
PROCEDURE FOR REMOVAL OF THE PRESIDENT OR VICE PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE
Procedure for 239. (1) A Member wishing to move a motion to indict the
President or President or Vice-President for impeachment shall give notice of
intention to move such a motion, signed by one-third of Members of the Assembly to the Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly, 7 (seven) days before the Motion to indict the President or the Vice President on impeachment is moved in the Assembly;
(2) The Notice of Motion shall contain the allegations of serious breaches of the Constitution and or written laws by the President or the Vice-President;
(3) Any signature appended to the notice of motion shall not be withdrawn;
(4) The Notice of Motion for the indictment of the President or Vice-President on impeachment shall be accompanied by a concise statement of the provisions of the Malawi Constitution or the written laws of the Republic which the President or Vice-President is alleged to have seriously violated together with sufficient particulars of the facts relied upon to prove the serious violations;
(5) Upon receipt of the Notice of Motion for the indictment of the President or Vice President, the Speaker of the National Assembly shall within twenty four (24) hours issue a writ of summons to the accused President or the accused Vice-President, as the case may be, reciting the serious violations and notifying him or her to appear before the National Assembly upon a day and at a place to be fixed by the National Assembly, within seven days and named in such a writ, and file his or her acknowledgement of the Motion of the indictment, and to stand and abide the orders and judgements of the National Assembly thereon; the writ shall be served by an officer or police officer as directed to the accused President or the accused Vice-President, or if that cannot conveniently be done, by leaving such copy at the last known place of abode or physical address of the accused President or the accused Vice-President. If the accused President or the accused Vice-President, after service, shall fail to appear, either in person or with his or her Legal Practitioner, on the day so fixed as aforesaid, the indictment shall proceed, nevertheless, as if he or she appeared and understood the charges.
(6) The person serving the Notice of Motion of indictment of the accused President or accused Vice-President shall swear and file an affidavit of service confirming the service of the motion on the accused President or accused Vice-President.
(7) On the day of the indictment the appearance of the accused President or the Vice-President, whether by himself or herself or with his or her Legal Practitioner, shall be recorded. If he or she fails to appear the same shall be recorded. If he or she fails to appear, the same be recorded.
The Member moving the Motion shall then be called upon to read the Motion of indictment in the National Assembly and the same shall be seconded by another Member of the National Assembly after which the accused President or the accused Vice-President shall be called upon and only answer whether he or she understands the grounds of impeachment against him or her, or if the accused President or Vice-President will be absent the same shall be recorded as if he or she understood the charges. Upon recording that the President or Vice-President, shall be asked to leave the House following which Members of the National Assembly shall debate the Motion of indictment.
(8) After the Motion has been debated, the Speaker of the National Assembly shall call upon Members of the National Assembly to vote on the Motion.
(9) The Motion of indictment shall be passed if affirmed by a two-thirds vote of the Members of the National Assembly and the Committee of the whole House.
Procedure for 240. (1) The Speaker shall, within twenty-four hours of the Impeachment of
President or notice following a resolution on indictment cause a copy of the
resolution to be transmitted to the Chief Justice who shall cause notice to be issued to the President or Vice President on the resolution of the indictment.
(2) The Chief Justice shall, within seven days after receipt of the notice transmitted under Sub-Rule (1), constitute a tribunal comprising two Justices of the Supreme Court (excluding himself or herself) and a Legal Practitioner of good standing and with not less than fifteen years experience at the bar to investigate the allegation in the indictment and to report its findings to the National Assembly stating whether or not there is a prima facie case for removal of the President or Vice-President.
(3) The President or Vice-President shall be entitled to appear at the proceedings of the tribunal and to be represented by a Legal Practitioner of his or her choice.
(4) If the tribunal determines that there is a prima facie case for the removal of the President or Vice-President under paragraph (3) of this Rule, then the National Assembly passes the resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all Members of Parliament, the President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office.
(5) Conviction by way of impeachment shall not act as a bar to legal proceedings in the High Court.
Membership 241. (1) The Assembly may be affiliated to inter-parliamentary bodies
parliamentary at regional, continental and international levels in accordance with the
bodies rules and protocols governing those bodies to which the Assembly subscribes. Such bodies may include the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), the Pan African Parliament (PAP) the Southern Africa Development Community-Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) and the African Caribbean and Pacific and the European Union (ACP-EU).
. (2) A Member of the Assembly may be appointed to represent Malawi at an inter-parliamentary body through designation by the Business Committee and by resolution of the House.
(3) The appointment and representation in sub-rule (2), shall reflect proportional party membership based on numerical strength of the parties in the House and take into consideration gender parity.
(4) A Member shall report to the Assembly on the activities of the Assembly in accordance with these Rules. (5) A Member shall cease to represent the Assembly at a parliamentary body in accordance these Rules or the rules and protocols governing those inter-parliamentary bodies. SUSPENSION, VARIATION, AMMENDMENT AND REPEAL Suspension 242. (1) Subject to sub-rule (2), the House may, on a motion by any and variation of Rules Member suspend any of these Rules or any such part of a Rule as is specified in the motion, but only for the purpose of such meeting of the Assembly, a Committee or sub-committee.
(2) The terms of a motion for the suspension of a Rule shall include a statement of the purpose of the proposed suspension and no amendment shall be moved to such a motion.
(3) The suspension of any Rule shall-
(a) be limited in its operation to the particular purpose for which such suspension was sought; (b) not apply to Rules which stem from any provision of the Constitution.
Amending 243. (1) The House may, on a motion by the Legal Affairs Committee,
the Rules amend these Rules. (2) Any decision of the House to amend the Rules shall require an absolute majority. (3) Any amendment to the Rules must be consistent with the requirements of the Constitution and any written law.
Repeal 244. (1) The Rules heretofore in force are hereby repealed. (2) On the coming into operation of these Rules, any orders, directions, appointment and other acts lawfully made or done under a provision of the Rules in force immediately before such coming into operation, shall be deemed to have been made or done under the corresponding provisions of these Rules and shall continue to have effect accordingly.
APPENDIX I (UNDER RULE 1)
I, …………………………….., President of the Republic of Malawi, do hereby certify that the public interest requires that the National Assembly should not meet on the date on which it is next to meet, namely …………………….. but that the said Assembly should meet on…………. at Parliament Buildings, Lilongwe from ………………..
Given under my hand and the public seal this ……………..day of.............................. 20…....
APPENDIX I (UNDER RULE 22 (b))
ALMIGHTY GOD, who in Your (Thy) wisdom and goodness has (hast) appointed the office of the Rulers and Parliaments for the welfare of society and the just government of the people (men), we ask You (beseech Thee) to behold with Your (Thy) abundant favour us Your (Thy) servants, whom You have (Thou hast) been pleased to call to the performance of important trusts in this land.
Let Your (Thy) blessings descend upon us here assembled, and grant that we may treat and consider all matters that shall come under our deliberation, in so just and faithful a manner as to promote Your (Thy) Honour and Glory, and to advance the peace, prosperity and welfare of this Country and of those whose interests You have (Thou has) committed to our charge. Amen.
APPENDIX III (UNDER RULE 22 (c))
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
I, ……………………………………………………do swear that I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of Malawi as by law established. So help me God.
Sworn at.................. this..................... day of ……………20..…
APPENDIX IV (UNDER RULE 22(c))
OATH OF OFFICE
I, ………………………………………… Swear that I will well and truly serve the Republic of Malawi in the office of ……………………………………, and will do right and justice to all manner of people in accordance with the laws and usages of Malawi, without fear, favour, affection or ill-will. So help me God.
Sworn at………………….this …… day of……………. 20............
APPENDIX V (UNDER RULE 61)
FORM OF PETITION
To : The Honourable Members assembled in the House:
The petition of the undersigned,………........................... of the..……................................................................................………….......................................
State that: (here state the object of the petition, briefly setting forth the reason therefore)
Your petitioners respectfully request that the Honourable House (take such action as may be deemed appropriate)
Dated…............……… day of ………………......……. 20..................….
APPENDIX VI – (UNDER RULE 86)
Name of Member......................................................................................................................
Issue (s) to be raised
Signature of Member Date