The emerging vibrant civil society organisation Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has asked President Lazarus Chakwera to expedite appointments of boards of parastatal organizations, fearing any delay would create a breeding ground for corruption and bribery.
CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa told journalists in Lilongwe Wednesday morning that his organization is concerned to note that, apart from only two of them, all the parastatal organizations are running without boards of directors after Chakwera dissolved them all just soon after ascending to the high office.
Namiwa emphasized that CDEDI, just like all Malawians of goodwill, welcomed the dissolution of the parastatal boards since it resonated well with the much-awaited public sector reforms.
“It was our expectation that since the Tonse Alliance government spoke very highly of the need for a fresh beginning, the parastatal boards would have been reconstituted in timely manner in order to give room to the cleanup exercise of our parastatals, most of which offer essential services to the people. The zeal, energy and political will displayed by the country’s Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima soon after assuming office, gave a strong signal to Malawians that change was indeed here! But as we speak now, that dream for a new look parastatal boards seem to be a farfetched one! Malawians should brace for the same old story, business as usual kind of approach when tackling issues of national importance,” he said.
He said the ‘deafening’ silence on the appointment of parastatal boards is raising fears that either there are disagreements in terms of how the Tonse Allince members will share the spoils among the nine political parties.
Namiwa wondered whether it is a deliberate ploy by the Tonse government to allow for extended abuse of funds so that the blame should be heaped on the previous boards and administrations.
“In all fairness, the silence is so deafening and the waiting has been too long, if the tone and impressive political rhetoric during the campaign period is anything to go by! It is therefore against this background that CDEDI is appealing to the State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to immediately appoint the board members for all the parastatals in order to dismiss these unknown fears and allow the public institutions to operate legally,” he said.
On the other hand, Namiwa asked Chilima to consider providing regular updates regarding progress recorded in the public sector reforms he is championing so that it should become very easy for the general public to take stock of what their government is doing.
He said it is also the CDEDI’s expectation that the parastatal boards will hire Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) for these boards on merit through competitive processes, further stressing that they expect nothing less than well qualified individuals of good repute to lead these parastatals, and in the process develop Malawi tremendously.
“In a related development, CDEDI has learnt with shock the news that the Tonse Alliance government has embarked on what can best be described as political victimization of some senior civil servants, especially Principal Secretaries (PS) whose only crime is reported to have been their alleged connection with the immediate past regime of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), albeit without proof. CDEDI is reliably informed that over seven PS’s have been subjected to such kind of treatment like that of a Kangaroo court verdict for being suspected to be DPP blue eyed boys,” Namiwa narrated.
“CDEDI is therefore reminding President Chakwera that Malawi is in a democratic dispensation and that these civil servants have running contracts with the Malawi government, implying that taxpayers will continue paying them for doing nothing. It is even more shocking to learn that some of these highly trained and skilled people who joined the public service during the Kamuzu regime are being treated unfairly. Much as we would like to agree with the assertion that for something to work, some people will have to move, CDEDI would like to caution government to make proper assessments to avoid a scenario where Malawians will be paying more than one person on the same position or at worst, the voters will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay people that have been unfairly dismissed.
“On the other hand, CDEDI finds this kind of behavior a demoralizing factor for the public servants that are there to serve the government of the day. Lastly, but not the least, CDEDI would like to remind government that unemployment among the youth has now reached crisis levels in Malawi. President Chakwera should, therefore, always have the plight of the youth at heart every time he is considering making public appointments of people to serve in his government,” stressed Namiwa.
CDEDI is a non-partisan, nongovernmental organization that was established in a quest to attain a well-informed and organized citizenry that can ably demand their social and economic rights at the same time hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
Among many others CDEDI aims at sensitizing the masses on matters of national importance, inculcate the spirit of a peaceful coexistence among people of different ethnic, political and religious affiliations; provide civic education on people’s rights and responsibilities in economic independence and contribution towards national development and lobbying for the electoral law reforms.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :