Malawi’s media giant Times Group has criticised the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government for its “failure to see what people in Malawi see” the fail grade in the President Peter Mutharika’s cabinet as critiqued by Sunday Times.
Minister of Information, Jappie Mhango said government rejects the newspaper assessment on 28 February 2016, saying it was a “blind opinion poll” and that it remains ” scientifically and statistically questionable”.
But Times Group Editor-In-Chief George Kasakula said the media giant will continue with the assessment of cabinet, saying they do not need a scientific study to form an opinion on the government.
“The cabinet assessment is done through observation and compairing what the ministries promised to achieve through the policies that are in place,” Kasakula said as quoted by the Times Group flagship daily.
In the editorial comment, the Daily Times said Mhango as government spokesman has a veru difficult job to “defend the indefensible.”
The paper said for government to lash out at the publication for its cabinet assessment , it means the Mutharika administration is not a listening government that “usually regards constructive criticism as destructive.”
It said the paper would have done great injustice to the people of Malawi is it had pretended that the cabinet has done extremely well “yet there is evidence that cabinet must do better.”
Government spokesman said the newspaper—did not indicate the methodologies and questions that were used and asked, respectively.
But Times Group hit back at the Minister of Information, saying that their first obligation is to proclaim the truth and their first loyalty is to people .
“It is the public that gives us the mandate to scrutinise the government and all we are asking our government to do is listen,” concluded the editorial which was titled ‘the government must listen.’
Launched in 2004, the Sunday Times as the first-ever Sunday newspaper in Malawi and its annual cabinet assessment reports are widely anticipated by many people.
The cabinet assessment looks at each and every minister including the president individually on what they have achieved and failed to attain upon assuming the office particularly policies direction coupled with action because they are political heads of their various ministries.
The assessment gives scores to each cabinet minister on how they performed in their positions which are put five categories including 1-2 (Do us favour, resign), 2-3 (Pull up your socks, please), 5-6 (Ok, but you can do better), 7-8 (You are a star) and 9-10 (Excellent, you deserve another term).
Through the cabinet assessment 2016 supplement headlined, “struggling cabinet, wobbling economy” the paper stated that all major economic indicators demonstrate that President Mutharika and his cabinet are failing to restore macro-economic fundamentals.
The report has further faulted the executive arm of government of not going well in consolidating democracy and constitutionalism particularly on its tricks on legislation such as Access to Information (ATI) and Sodomy (Homosexuals) which remain a worrisome to the people of Malawi.
The newspaper described Vice President Dr.Saulos Chilima as ‘the only star performer’ in the 20-member Cabinet.
Chilima scored 80 percent (8/10) in the rating while some ministers including Foreign Affairs George Chaponda scored as low as 20 percent as the paper urged them to stand up and go to work.
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