The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has protested the decision by the Tonse Alliance-led government to change the fiscal year from July—June cycle, arguing it was made without a nod from the people who put the administration in government.
However, CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa, who addressed journalists in Lilongwe on Thursday, acknowledged that President Lazarus Chakwera has not violated any law by making such a paradigm shift in policy direction.
Namiwa made the remarks when he address the media in Lilongwe a day after the Tonse government announced the change to the fiscal year.
He said although it is not very strange for governments make policy changes, his organization was of the view that relevant stakeholders should have been involved through a thorough consultative process.
“We, at CDEDI, believe that in a modern day democracy, deliberate efforts should have been made to create space for stakeholders’ consultations before government came up with such a drastic change in policy which will require amendments of some acts of parliament to accommodate the same. It is even more mind boggling when one looks back at the history of one of the major alliance partners, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Malawians of good will should be worried with the current trend of making dictatorial policy shifts, which if left unchecked, it will set a very bad precedent, under the disguise of using the privilege of executive powers,” he said.
He challenged Chakwera to bring forward evidence that his government made consultations with relevant stakeholders before coming up the decision.
Namiwa warned that should the President fail to produce such an evidence, CDEDI will move the courts to stop government from implementing the policy shift until such a time when thorough consultations will have been done.
He also questioned the Tonse government’s decision to close borders without consulting relevant stakeholders.
“CDEDI believes such a decision should have been made with the relevant stakeholders who are likely to be directly affected, such as the revenue collection bodies and other business operators that are involved in cross border trade. CDEDI is further challenging the Malawi government to learn from the neighboring country Tanzania on how they managed to contain the pandemic without tampering with the boarders, and immediately rescind its decision for the same reason of infringing on the economic rights of those people whose livelihoods depend on cross border trade. CDEDI will again move the courts in the event that government decides not to rescind its decision,” said Namiwa.
On the other hand, the CDEDI boss regretted that Malawians will be celebrating Christmas and the New Year festivities ‘with the shocking revelation of increased domestic debt which has the potential to push up the inflation rate, the lending rate and by extension increased cost of living, a development that will eat away disposable cash and in the process push more people into poverty’.
He said these circumstances could easily be contained if Chakwera stood firm on his promise to control unnecessary expenses such as external travels and the unjustifiable local travels.
he President said in the spirit of Christmas, he would like Malawians to reflect on the big message behind Christmas as he hopes this Christmas ends the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :