THE Chairman of the Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) and Member of Parliament for Aoke Langalanga Mathew Wale sternly argued that the Traditional Governance and Customs Facilitation Bill is flawed and it needs to be withdrawn.
He made this strong comment when he debated the Bill on the floor of the parliament which resulted in the withdrawal of the Bill, Thursday.
Minister for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace Commins Mewa was forced to withdraw the Bill on the floor of the Parliament.
Mr Wale said the Bill is an effort to recognise the place and role of chiefs and custom in the governance of this country.
“As a policy goal this is a worthy and noble goal but in its current form the Bill is flawed in too many provisions especially in areas fundamental to custom,” he added.
Mr Wale further added that these flaws appear to be the result of lack of robust conceptual basis for the policy which in turn led to a shallow consultation process.
“Further the speed which was imposed on the production of the Bill has resulted in limiting scope of the consultations,” he added.
Mr Wale said that important questions were not explored adequately it at all and important groups such as churches, youth and women were not meaningfully consulted.
“Most importantly the judiciary and the Bar Association were not consulted although they possess a significant body of experience and knowledge on the matters this bill is attempting to deal with,” he added.
Mr Wale further argued that custom must not be trifled with, wisdom would dictate that it is better to withdraw the bill and more robust approach is taken in crafting the policy, engaging our people meaningfully leading to legislation that deals substantively and responsibly with custom.
By ANDREW FANASIA