Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) say proposed solutions by the Public Service Reform Commission must first be approved by National Assembly before implementation.
Timothy Mtambo Executive Director for Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), said reforms being pursued by President Peter Mutharika administration are not inspiring because they are not aligned with the national vision.
He therefore urged government to ensure that all proposed reforms are periodically scrutinised by Parliament to improve the program delivery and ensure that reforms reflect the views and wishes of Malawians.
While appealing for depoliticisation of the Public Service Reforms by supporting it with necessary legal regime in order to ensure scrutiny, he said National Assembly is right institution that must be allowed to play its rightful oversight function to the reforms.
“I can assure Malawians that those reforms are not supposed to be implemented without an authorization of parliament. We are represented by parliament so, any kind of reforms should be scrutinized by the parliament, who are the representatives of the people of this country,” suggested Mtambo
Mtambo has said at the moment “the reform program is just a program which is empty and has no legal basis”.
He also warned that by letting everything been done by few individuals to head the reforms then the country might end up with “deforms” instead of “reforms”
“These reforms are being taken as a law itself. There are changes in the name of reforms; cancelation of JCE exams, the hiking of school fees in secondary schools and colleges. People just woke up in the morning in the name of reforms and change things,” he observed
Mtambo also underlined that the program would have done better to Malawians if the reforms had began first in the presidency office and then trickle down to juniors.
“We have always said that the reforms were supposed to start from the presidency” he said “The head is not reformed, we have a lot of power in the office of the president and that is why corruption continues in this country. So how do you expect the juniors to transform?”
However, speaking in an interview, Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances, Harry Mkandawire said their committee has already been requested by Vice President Office to work together with the Public Service Reform Commission in question.
“The Good part is that the office of the Vice President has requested my committee to work with the Public Reforms Commission. Now the area you are talking about, we are yet to agree,” confirmed Mkandawire.
When asked when did his committee received such a request, Mkandawire replied “We were asked long time ago during the last meeting of parliament.”
But since the committee’s relationship with the Commission has just started and they are yet to agree as to the terms of reference of how they are going to work together, he therefore admitted that his committee was not part of reforms being implemented at the moment.
Mkandawire has also asked the CSO’s to meet his Committee to discuss on how the committee should work with the Commission.
“This is what CSO’s would want to see, I therefore urge the CSO’s to come to us, to let us know what our relationship with the Reform Commission should be. And if they have an idea, they can sell it to us so that in turn we would be saying; look, people out there they want this, because CSOs are also the representatives of the people”
Mkandawire has since congratulated the office of the Vice President for seeing it fit that their committee should be a bridge between the commission and parliament.
In 2014, Malawi Government under leadership of President Peter Mutharika instituted Public Service Reform Commission being chaired by his Vice President Saulos Chilima.
The commission was instituted to facilitate the creation of an effective and efficient Public Service that will spur economic growth through the nurturing of a market economy that is foreign direct investor friendly as well as one that will facilitate long term investments in the health, education and other social programmes.
Since, the commission has made several recommendations which president has approved and have been implemented.
However, on Wednesday, CSO’s claimed that the success of the reforms are just on paper and called for resignation of Mutharika over poor democratic and economic governance.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :