Chakwera snubs Malawi @ 50 Forum invitation

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President, Lazarus Chakwera, has snubbed an invitation from the High Level Development Council to attend the national dialogue on ‘Malawi @50 Forum’ in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

The dialogue will be presided over by President Joyce Banda under the theme “Malawi at 50 and prospects for the next 50 years.”

Among others, the conference is expected to develop a plan that will guide and harmonise implementation of the country’s development framework.

Chakwera: Not attending
Chakwera: Not attending

And in his response, the MCP president cited the ‘questionable’ legal status of the council as his reason for refusing to attend the dialogue.

“I regret to advise that I am at the moment unable to attend the said function because I am not sure of the legal status of the council.

“I believe that all institutions of government must have a basis in law and when the situation is clarified to me I may in future attend these deliberations,” said Chakwela to the organisers.

The council is using a government emblem.

President Banda established the said non-partisan High Level Development Council (HLDC) to reportedly provide leadership in reflecting on the past 50 years of the country’s independence and guide the nation in ensuring that it achieves its development plans.

Group Chief Executive for Press Corporation Limited and former Minister of Finance, Prof Matthews Chikaonda is the chairperson of the 24-member grouping.

Other notable names include Blessings Chinsinga, Paramount Chief Kyungu, Dr Charles Mwansambo, Sam Kakhobwe, Dr Bruce Munthali, Prof Richard Mkandawire, Reverend Patrick Semphere and Abdul Gaffar Jakhura.

President Banda justified  the establishment of the council formed on January 9 2014, observing that currently there is a gap between development plans and implementation, a problem the council would help to solve.

“Institutional development plans have lacked institutional ownership to remind government to remain focused on the long-term perspectives as planned even though situations may be difficulty,” said Banda.

Banda said the mandate of the Council is to take a broad, cross-cutting, independent and critical view of Malawi’s development needs, to help define the Malawi that we seek to achieve over the next 50 years; prescribe the necessary and sufficient conditions for achieving the desired outcomes; and clearly outline the path and implementation; monitoring and evaluation strategies to achieve those objectives and the aspirations of Malawians.

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