Chakwera dares media on reforms agenda: “You don’t know what we’re doing behind the scenes”

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has said his administration remains committed to the implementation of the Public Sector Reforms to improve public service delivery.

Speaking on Tuesday when he launched the National Action Plan for Open Government Partnerships in Malaŵi, Chakwera has faulted journalists for reporting that his government had stopped pursuing the reforms.

He said the launch of the National Action Plan for Open Government Partnerships is a clear demonstration of his administration’s resolve to implement the reforms.

“Today, we are here as a direct result of months of work that my office has been doing quietly to advance my administration’s reforms agenda, months of work that our newspapers seem to have not been paying attention to. I think it’s high time that newspapers understood that just because they have not been paying attention or privy to something happening in government doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening,” said Chakwera.

Reacting to a published story that suggested that Reforms Report was gathering dust at the Capital Hill, the Malawi leader clarified that the Reforms Report that Vice President, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, submitted to him was “not a document for public entertainment or public debates that produce nothing but noise”.

Chakwera said what Chilima submitted to him was a reference document for him as President to use in his own direct engagements with public institutions and public officers that need his constant direction on the reforms they need to implement in their respective areas of responsibility, something I have been doing for two years now.

“If I had not been pursuing reforms, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs would not have made progress in the negotiations for an Extended Credit Facility with the International Monetary Fund, because the center piece of those negotiations are the Reforms we have put in place for better fiscal management.

“If I had not been pursuing Reforms, we would not have secured the 350 million dollar Millennium Challenge Compact, because to qualify for that Compact required the implementation of Reforms that passed the scorecard our development partners gave us.

“If I had not been pursuing Reforms, the Presidential Delivery Unit in my office would not have been conducting Delivery Labs for   various sectors to improve public sector performance.

“In fact, to sustain the momentum of the PDU, I have appointed Dr. Janet Banda, the Deputy Secretary to the President and Cabinet, as the new Head of PDU, who will be reporting directly to me on its operations and its push for public sector reforms and delivery,” said the President.

He added that Malawi’s membership to OGP means that the action plan Malawi is pursuing for reforms that enhance governance and accountability is so robust that it meets the standards and has the buy-in of global partners, civil society, private sector, non-governmental organizations, academia, and other stakeholders.

Chakwera staid the OGP membership gives Malawi access to international tools and standards for promoting transparency and citizenship engagement and participation.

This OGP membership gives us areas of focus that are critical to the pursuit of Malawi 2063’s Enabler Number 2, which deals with Effective Governance Systems and Institutions.

“This OGP membership signals our commitment to practice the provisions of our Constitution, which demand that those who govern must do so with transparency and accountability to sustain the trust of citizens,” he said.

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