Mutharika issue stern warning to ministers: No immunity for the corrupt

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has advised members of the executive arm of government to be beyond reproach by adhering to principles of transparency and accountability in the course of discharging their ministerial duties.

Mutharika said transparency and accountability are essential elements in dealing with corruption, noting that corruption is a cancer that denies people their right to decent life, prosperity, socio – economic development and pursuit of happiness.

“Let me warn you that I will not protect any corrupt Minister or Deputy Minister. Once you are found to be involved in corrupt practices, you’ll be fired and prosecuted accordingly,” Mutharika reiterated, a warning he also issued when he swore – in his lean Cabinet a couple of weeks ago.

Vice President Chilima greets Mining Minister Atupele Muluzi

Vice President Chilima greets Mining Minister Atupele Muluzi

President Mutharika, Vice President Chilima and Cabinet Minister in a group photo

President Mutharika, Vice President Chilima and Cabinet Minister in a group photo

The President was speaking on Monday in Mangochi when he opened a three-day orientation workshop for Cabinet and Deputy Ministers.

Leadership with responsibility

Mutharika said the Cabinet was mandated to set and shape government’s policy direction which in turn should contribute to policy development, implementation, initiation of legislation and preparation of the budget for the State.

“You have to assume leadership and responsibility for the effective delivery of government programmes and services under your respective portfolios,” he advised.

He added: “You must also be conversant with government legal, policy and institutional frameworks aimed at bringing meaningful socio – economic development in this country.”

He observed that some of the legal frameworks to be covered during the workshop include the Public Finance Management Act, the Public Procurement Act and the Public Audit Act all of 2003.

The Malawian leader urged his members of Cabinet to pay particular attention to the three pieces of legislation because they would assist in pursuit of good governance and prevention of being in conflict with the law.

On this note, Mutharika encouraged the Executive to work as a unit to avoid unilateral approval of policies or committing government to some major undertakings without the involvement of the entire Cabinet, saying: ‘there is no ceremonial cabinet let alone a ceremonial President in this country.’

Adding: “Policy announcements will only be made by the Minister of Information and after seeking my approval. I will not tolerate indiscipline.”

Mutharika also encouraged cabinet Ministers and their deputies to cultivate a very good working relationship amongst themselves and all relevant stakeholders in the Public Service, noting that would enhance delivery of quality services.

He, therefore, asked public servants to give Ministers and Deputy Ministers maximum support in a bid to better improve people’s livelihoods, most of whom, he said live in abject poverty.

Transformation

Speaking earlier, Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, he said the induction was an important step towards fulfilling the agenda of transforming the country from poverty to prosperity.

“It is a fact that there are numerous challenges facing the country which require special expertise by the Executive arm of Government to adequately address them. We will loyal to delivering the promises by the DPP led government,” Chilima said.

Chilima, who is also chairman responsible for the Public Service, advised Cabinet Ministers to remain servants and not masters by ensuring they serve all manner of people with humility, dedication and excellence.

Acting Chief Secretary to the Government, Willie Samute, said the orientation was coming against a background of a leadership which was result oriented through high performance for huge productivity.

“The seminar has been designed in such a manner that the participants will be taken through the government systems, procedures and regulations to do their work efficiently and effectively. The ministers will be equipped to deliver on the aspirations of people in the country,” Samute added.

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