President Peter Mutharika on Thursday had a frank talk with quasi religious body, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) on thorny issues affecting the country from political to economic issues and agreed to disagree in some areas.
However, the talk helped to bring together the President and PAC who had daring differences following a recent high level PAC meeting in Blantyre where some members asked the head of state to step down allegedly because he had failed to run the affairs of the country.
PAC officials, led by its chairman Reverend Felix Chingota seemed not to be intimidated by the high level presence of all cabinet ministers and most of ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) governing council members as well as a dozen of the president’s aids.
In addition, Mutharika decided to beam the meeting live by state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), very unusual for such audiences at Kamuzu Palace.
Chingota read out all recommendations made at the PAC indaba a few months ago, telling the President realities on the ground, problems ordinary Malawians are facing ranging from scarcity of food especially maize and economic hardship facing Malawians and is slowing down development in most sectors.
Chingota pointed out the eroding rule of law, the appointment of cabinet by the President based on political patronage, the refusal by the President to reduce his presidential powers, among others.
Mutharika seemed to agree fully on some of the issues raised by PAC and promised his administration would work on them but dismissed other recommendations as unrealistic.
He said people should appreciate that he maintains a lean cabinet and government officials have drastically cut on external travel following the economic slump.
In a statement posted on social- media, Mutharika what was of essence in PAC’s meeting was that “all of us who are placed in privileged positions of national service should always put Malawians first when we undertake our duties.”
He added: “We must not be driven by mere speculation and exterior forces when we intend to bring forth national agenda rather we should always collectively point our energies towards improving livelihoods.
“My government is always ready to openly discuss all national matters so as to grant you my fellow countrymen and women a chance to make informed decisions in as far as your contribution to Malawi is concerned.”
The PAC face to face frank talk with Mutharika has been praised in some quarters as important in a highly charged political environment.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :