SECTION 12. Constitutional principles
This Constitution is founded upon the following underlying principles--
(i) All legal and political authority of the State derives from the people of Malawi and shall be exercised in accordance with this Constitution solely to serve and protect their interests.
(ii) All persons responsible for the exercise of powers of State do so on trust and shall only exercise such power to the extent of their lawful authority and in accordance with their responsibilities to the people of Malawi.
(iii) The authority to exercise power of State is conditional upon the sustained trust of the people of Malawi and that trust can only be maintained through open, accountable and transparent Government and informed democratic choice.
(iv) The inherent dignity and worth of each human being requires that the State and all persons shall recognize and protect fundamental human rights and afford the fullest protection to the rights and views of all individuals, groups and minorities whether or not they are entitled to vote.
(v) As all persons have equal status before the law, the only justifiable limitations to lawful rights are those necessary to ensure peaceful human interaction in an open and democratic society.
(vi) All institutions and persons shall observe and uphold the Constitution and the rule of law and no institution or person shall stand above the law.
SECTION 13. Principles of national policy
The State shall actively promote the welfare and development of the people of Malawi by progressively adopting and implementing policies and legislation aimed at achieving the following goals--
(a) Gender Equality: To obtain gender equality for women with men through:-
- full participation of women in all spheres of Malawians society on the basis of equality with men;
- the implementation of the principles of non-discrimination and such other measures as may be required; and
- the implementation of policies to address social issues such as domestic violence, security of the person, lack of maternity benefits, economic exploitation and rights to property.
(b) Nutrition: To achieve adequate nutrition for all in order to promote good health and self-sufficiency.:-
(c) Health: To provide adequate health care, commensurate with the health needs of Malawian society and international standards of health care.
(d) The Environment: To manage the environment responsibly in order to--
- prevent the degradation of the environment;
- provide a healthy living and working environment for the people of Malawi;
- accord full recognition to the rights of future generations by means of environmental protection and the sustainable development of natural resources; and
- conserve and enhance the biological diversity of Malawi.
(e) Rural Life: To enhance the quality of life in rural communities and to recognize rural standards of living as a key indicator of the success of Government policies.
(f) Education: To provide adequate resources to the education sector and devise programmes in order to--
- eliminate illiteracy in Malawi;
- make primary education compulsory and free to all citizens of Malawi;
- offer greater access to higher learning and continuing education; and
- promote national goals such as unity and the elimination of political, religious, racial and ethnic intolerance.
(g) The Disabled: To support the disabled through--
- greater access to public places;
- fair opportunities in employment; and
- the fullest possible participation in all spheres of Malawian society.
(h) Children: To encourage and promote conditions conducive to the full development of healthy, productive and responsible members of society.
(i) The Family: To recognize and protect the family as a fundamental and vital social unit.
(j) The Elderly: To respect and support the elderly through the provision of community services and to encourage participation in the life of the community.
(k) International Relations: To govern in accordance with the law of nations and the rule law and actively support the further development thereof in regional and international affairs.
(l) Peaceful Settlement of Disputes : To strive to adopt mechanisms by which differences are settled through negotiation, good offices, mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
(m) Administration of Justice : To promote law and order and respect for society through civic education, by honest practices in Government, adequate resourcing, and the humane application and enforcement of laws and policing standards.
(n) Economic Management: To achieve a sensible balance between the creation and distribution of wealth through the nurturing of a market economy and long- term investment in health, education, economic and social development programmes.
(o) Public Trust and Good Governance: To introduce measures which will guarantee accountability transparency, personal integrity and financial probity and which by virtue of their effectiveness and transparency will strengthen confidence in public institutions.
SECTION 14. Application of the principles of national policy
The principles of national policy contained in this Chapter shall be directory in nature but courts shall be entitled to have regard to them in interpreting and applying any of the provisions of this Constitution or of any law or in determining the validity of decisions of the executive and in the interpretation of the provisions of this Constitution.