A new Afrobarometer survey findings on Malawi government’s delivery of basic public services has found that the country performed poorly in several areas and its perceived dis-respectfulness on public services is the highest in the region Southern African region at 34 percent.
The survey conducted between 2016 and 2018 on how African States are performing in delivery of public services that citizens say they want, scored Malawi’s neighbours – Tanzania (10 percent), Zambia (19 percent), Zimbabwe (20 percent), Mozambique ( 22 percent).
Official action on response to corruption report “not likely” is at 48 percent for Malawi, 17 for Tanzania, 48 for Zambia, 34 for Mozambique and 53 percent for Zimbabwe.
On average across 34 surveyed countries, service delivery is most often seen as easy to access, timely, courteous, and responsive to complaints. But countries vary greatly in popular assessments of government performance, and petty corruption is still a frequent experience.
An analysis of survey responses released on April 2 2019 shows that three main factors drive whether Africans see their governments as getting better or worse at delivering services: how easy or difficult the service was to obtain, whether officials will respond to complaints, and whether citizens had to pay a bribe.
Access to basic public services is regarded as a major determinant of human development and productivity.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology, who is also government spokesperson, Henry Mussa, could not immediately comment on the report.
In its extended coverage of the Afrobarometer survey, Malawi’s leading daily newspaper , The Nation, said it has shown that “there is very little if not nothing to glorify Malawi about.”
It pointed out that Malawi has scored poorly on other areas of State services such as timeliness of police assistance where the country is rocked at the bottom of the index at 14 percent.
“Needless to say, the findings area huge indictment on the country’s public sector performance and are a clarion call for Malawi to up its act,” reads the editorial comment in part.
The paper said the Arobarometer survey has a “take home” message for those aspiring for political positions in the next government ahead of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
“There is need for political will to achieve a paradigm shift,” said the editorial , adding “ We do not think that Tanzania’s superb performance as the Afrobarometer survey has shown has come by accident or by a stroke of sheer luck. We we see the ‘Magufuli factor’ at play.
“President John Magufuli was not unequivocal about what he wanted to achieve when he took over the reins of power about three years. He wanted to transform the work ethic in the public sector and to that end he invested time and resources for an improved public services.”
The Malawi leading daily pointed out that Magufuli wanted a public service that would deliver results.
“We can say without fear or favour that his determination to change things has paid dividends. Tanzania is now a star – at least in the region.”
The paper observed that in Malawi, almost all the eight presidential candidates and their political parties are preaching transformative leadership. It said the Afrobarometer survey findings have just “cut the out the job” for them.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in African countries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :