Malawi ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General Ecklen Kudontoni has exercised spin on what he told a Party meeting on Saturday in Mzuzu that all national statutory corporations’ CEOs must support the government without question, saying he was “misunderstood.”
In a statement issued Friday, which Nyasa Times has seen, Kudontoni said he “understands the strong belief of President Arthur Peter Mutharika and the undertaking of the DPP to separate state functions from partisan functions to ensure professionalism in the delivery of public service in Malawi.”
The statement added that the DPP are aware of the discrepancies that would creep in should they mix party and state affairs.
“One of the arch programmes of the DPP administration, which seeks to ensure efficient and effective delivery of public service in Malawi, [is to be conscious of this factor].
“Secretary General Kudontoni believes that in stating the need for public servants to desist from indulging in partisan politics in discharging their duties and encouraging them to support the government of the day, he was misunderstood as meaning that public servants must support the ruling party.”
Public servants were further assured that Mutharika’s government has “not abrogated on its commitment to let them do their work without political interference.”
On Wednesday, main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) h unleashed venom on the “crass and insensitive” remarks and had further asked the DPP to withdraw.
“MCP demands a retraction of such undemocratic statements and a censoring of the official [Kudontoni] by the Party [DPP] leadership unless what was said reflects his master’s voice,” leader of opposition Lazarous Chakwera had said in a statement.
But after making the remarks at the rally, Kudontoni was asked to clarify by the press and said the party receives reports that some CEOs are participating in party politics and work against DPP.
He said the party will report to responsible authorities about anti-DPP public servants for redress.
Kudontoni made the remarks come at the DPP meeting amid the removal of district commissioners (DCs), council chief executive officers (CEOs) and other officials in senior government positions.
Chancellor College associate professor of political science Blessings Chinsinga said civil servants should not be victimised for not supporting DPP.