Gov’t plans public interface meetings for MDAs to enhance citizen engagement

Government has disclosed plans to organise public interface meetings and open discussion forums where officials from all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will be articulating the functions, duties and services of their respective institutions.

The Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo, made the remarks at Kasowa Full Primary School in Karonga on Thursday during a Government-Citizen Engagement Platform Interface (Pabwalo) meeting with citizens of Karonga.

The Tonse Alliance government developed Pabwalo concept as “a tool to create an open, transparent and accountable government that effectively responds to the needs and demands of the citizens it serves.”

Minister of Peace and Unity Timothy Mtambo –Photos courtesy of MoCENU

Mtambo said Pabwalo will provide ordinary citizens with a platform where they can voice out their concerns and their expectation from MDAs and the government in general.

“The platform will promote an earnest state-citizen relationship that will spur social and economic development of the country by bringing government and the people together to discuss and dialogue on important issues pertaining to national development,” he said.

The minister was accompanied by senior officials from the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Human Rights Commission who made presentations on mob justice, lawlessness and human rights.

Mtambo lamented that cases of mob justice, lawlessness and human rights abuses are denting the image of Malawi, a country that is generally known for its friendly people, peace and unity.

“We all have to remember that, every suspect is innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. No Malawian citizen is mandated to administer justice other than the courts through the judicial system. As such, my fellow Malawians, no one can deliver justice on suspects. It is only the courts that are mandated to do so.

“Even myself, as a chief, [I am a chief in my home area] cannot condemn somebody to mob justice. Not even Members of Parliament or even opinion leaders. These have no powers to deliver punishment on criminal suspects,” he said.

After the presentations, the people were given the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to the cited topics.

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