British High Commissioner Michael Nevin has said the Public Sector Reforms Programme being championed by government are a step in the right direction but he was quick to add that implementation is key.
Speaking during the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday in Lilongwe on Monday evening, Nevin said there is need for a “reform movement that can be seen and felt not just hear about, the one that is concerned with the outcome not just the process”.
He added: “Unless there is a radical overhaul of thinking and delivery, we will remain dealing with overwhelming symptoms and not their causes, focusing on emergency care rather than promoting long-term health, wellbeing and economic transformation.”
The British envoy said reformists should ensure Malawi is ready for “the game changing advantages” of the Nacala Corridor; overcoming bureaucratic inertia and vested interests.
“It is worrying that the [Nacala Corridor] railway is finished, but Malawi does not have anything yet to take advantage of it,” pointed out Nevin.
Nevin observed that government’s steps to embark on the reform process are not new.
He said: “Through joined-up, focused action, Malawi could progress up anti-corruption and fraud league tables and yet the updated anti-money laundering legislation still languishes in the system.”
Nevin continued: “We want this government to succeed with their reform agenda, but delivery is the name of the game. Success will be measured in plans, which translates into impact. It means a vision and plan that fosters initiative and responsibility, weaning people of dependency and entitlement.”
The British High Commissioner said the reform movement “does not talk about irrigation schemes but implements them, along with broader agricultural reform so that Malawians do not go hungry year– on year.”
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, who was the guest of honour at the function, said government is engaging different people in the country to make the reforms a success in which case there is also a requirement for change of attitude towards governance on the part of Malawians.
“We might be seen to be slow with the reform process but we are committed as government but the hiccups are as a result of capacity and inadequate resources. I promise you that we will deliver,” he said.
Upon assuming power through victory in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, President Peter Mutharika embarked on a Public Service Reforms Programme chaired by Vice-President Saulos Chilima to improve service delivery and productivity in the public sector, among other goals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :