Chairperson of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Monsignor Dr. Patrick Thawale says President Lazarus Chakwera needs to quickly fix a number of governance and leadership lapses or else risk losing “supporters at a faster rate”.
PAC is a quasi-religious organization, which was formed in 1992 whose core vision is “a Malawian society with internalized democratic values and practice”.
Speaking when he led a PAC delegation at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe at a meeting with the President on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Thawale advised President Chakwera to avoid people who are blood relations as cabinet ministers and reduce the size of his cabinet to reflect the current economic hardships.
“Reconstitute your cabinet to reduce its size and remove the perception that appointments are based on blood relations. There is nothing wrong in the Tonse Alliance to have your relations in positions as long as they qualify and can perform diligently.
“Maintaining big size of the cabinet contradicts the spirit of sharing the pain of economic hardships among Malawians. It might have made sense at first as you assumed power as an alliance – but now with this economic hardship the status quo might not be in sync with people’s expectations and economic hardship,” said Monsignor Thawale.
He noted that fertilizer is a strategic commodity, and the government should intervene and consider other channels for procuring fertilizer in order to shield poor farmers from exorbitant prices.
He said Malawians are facing economic hardships and to expect that local farmers can afford buying fertilizer at prices as high as K40,000 “may not be realistic”.
PAC has also told President Chakwera to “attempt to fix the economy through whatever means available at your disposal” and that the President should hire a competent communications team at State House, which can “promptly clarify matters” on behalf of the High Office.
The PAC Chair said voters had rated President Chakwera highly and that he came to power because he had promised that he would transact government business differently from his predecessor.
He said the President needs to appoint competent people “in the higher echelons of the civil service for the execution of decisions made by your Tonse Administration”.
“Those allegedly to be very close to you and influence your decisions should be avoided at all cost in the pursuit of major decisions. At the end of the day it will be your failure that will matter,” said the PAC Chair.
Monsignor Thawale recalled that in August 2020 PAC met the President and discussed matters of national importance, “and towards the end of our statement we raised some issues of governance that remain relevant today”.
He said there is lack of clarity on Malawi’s political governance following “inaction on crucial political decisions” and that stakeholders have voiced their frustrations and have failed to appreciate President Chakwera’s leadership style.
“The debate on the inaction has focused on failure to reshuffle the cabinet as pledged last year, maintaining the same big size of the cabinet, and reversing your own positions on some crucial decisions that provided a ray of hope for enforcement in Malawi. The observations shared above do exist; some may have raised these observations to you but perhaps there were some doubts in your mind over their existence. Your Excellency, take it from us, they represent true reflection of the conversations that are circulating on the ground,” said the Man of God in his presentation.
On corruption, PAC has urged President Chakwera to decisively deal with these “vices”, especially that some political players in the current administration “are in a rush to enrich themselves”.
“While we are aware that legal matters are complicated, you need to vigorously enforce the law in a bid to deal with corrupt practices. Arrests, both current and previous, should not be pursued for the sake of it. The public expects completion of the due process of the law once initiated,” said the PAC Chair.
On behalf of the PAC delegation, he congratulated President Chakwera for the recent successful hosting of SADC Heads of State and Government Summit held in Lilongwe.
“We further note a positive stride in the pursuit of the Affordable Input Programme (AIP). With all its challenges in the initial stages, the yield has been very good. This is an encouraging development in the agricultural Sector,” said the PAC Chair.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :