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Malawi Parliament passes Malawi Defence Force Bill

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The Malawi Parliament on Wednesday passed the Malawi Defence Force Bill, which seeks to repeal the Defence Force Act (Cap 12:01) and replace it with new legislation that reflects the changes in the functional operations and administration of the Defence Force over the years.

While presenting the bill in parliament, the Minister of Defence Harry Mkandawire emphasized that the bill provides for the composition of the Defence Force as comprising the Army, the Maritime Force, the Air Force and the National Service, with the National Service serving as a reserve force for the Army, the Air Force and the Maritime Force.

Mkandawire said that the Bill is very crucial as it seeks to improve the operation efficiency of the Defence Force and help it stay current to the trends.

It will further enable the Defence Force to be proactive in its participation in the production and development of the country. 

“The Bill establishes and incorporates Malawi National Service (MNS) in the Defence Force,” said Mkandawire.

Mkandawire added that the National Service is a strategic arm of the Defence Force as it will be a catalyst for the development, production and protection of this country through the artisanal and technical capabilities of its personnel.

Mkandawire said, “The passing of the Bill in Parliament today, now formalizes and regulates practices in Deforce Force.”

For that, Mkandawire applauded members of Parliament as the Bill received overwhelming support.

United Democratic Front spokesperson in Parliament Esther Jolobala said that the bill is essential in the country as youths will be imparted with skills within the defence force.

It is also known that the bill proposes the establishment, composition, functions and conduct of the business of the Defence Council which is mandated to formulate and monitor the implementation of the national defence policy.

The bill adds that the council would also oversee the deployment and operations of the Defence Force in accordance with the Constitution and the proposed legislation.

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