Mutharika says Malawi 50 years of poverty unacceptable: Outlines DPP reforms

Five decades after independence, it is unacceptable that Malawi has remained within the least developing countries in the world, President Peter Mutharika said on Tuesday, saying the Golden Jubilee should allow Malawians to reset their development agenda for the next fifty years.

Mutharika, the fifth Malawi President, sounded like his predecessor Joyce Banda, bemoaning poverty, promising empowerment of youth, women and people with disabilities and confirming his campaign pledge that the DPP led Government will subsidise the cost of cement and iron sheets, seen as out-of-rich for the many poor, estimated at least to be close to 7 million of the 15 million Malawians.

“We need, as a nation, to realise that this is a befitting moment for us to look back and reflect on our successes and challenges so that we can reposition ourselves for a great future. I have no doubt that we will seize this moment to reassert ourselves and act with greater determination and vigour to achieve fundamental transformation of our country,” said the President.

Malawi leader Prof Peter Mutharika shares a light moment with Speaker of Parl ... sowoya before opening the 45th Session of Parliament-pic by Lisa Vintulla.

Malawi leader Prof Peter Mutharika shares a light moment with Speaker of Parl … sowoya before opening the 45th Session of Parliament-pic by Lisa Vintulla.

He expressed his dismay on the reduction of women representatives elected in the last election after being reduced from 43 to 30, calling it “unfortunate and retrogressive”.

Mutharika added that the success of any administration and the ability of a government to efficiently deliver public services and enhance the welfare of its citizenry largely depends on the dedication and professionalism of the public service.

The President said he expects a professional Civil Service.

“We will reorganize the public service in a manner that will promote professionalism, integrity, technical competence and efficiency. The Malawi Civil Service was once renowned for its professionalism and dedication to duty. It is therefore, regrettable that recently there
has been laxity, indiscipline and pre-occupation with selfish motives by a few individuals, which led to the plunder of public resources through Cashgate.

“It is now becoming clearer as to what really happened; and therefore, Government will establish a corrupt-free Civil Service. This will be done through full compliance with existing public financial management rules, regulations and practices so as to enhance the professionalism of the Civil Service”

The President pledges priorities in reforms to include;
• Reduction of the number of ministerial portfolios, including Deputy
Ministers, to 20
• budgetary allocation for the maintenance of state residences;
• the number of foreign missions abroad.

He said he will establish a Public Service Remuneration Board, which will be responsible for the harmonization of pay in the public service and also ensure Civil Servants remain no partisan and do not loose jobs when Governments change.

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