PAC gives Chakwera another ultimatum

A Public Affairs Committee delegation at State house

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has challenged President Lazarus Chakwera to reshuffle his Cabinet within three months as public patience is running thin.

PAC Chairperson Monsignor Boniface Thawale made the call during an audience the grouping had with Chakwera at Sanjika Palace where he also asked him to appoint a competent Secretary to his office (OPC) acceptable by key stakeholders.

Monsignor Thawale indicated that the trust PAC had in the Malawi leader has quickly been eroded due to his ineptness in decision-making.

He noted that despite his pledge to reshuffle the Cabinet by the end of 2020, nothing has happened, a development which continues to erode the confidence bestowed upon him.

“In fact, the current Cabinet seems to be a spectator in their leadership style. A number of them lack gravitas and influence. For instance, this is the time those occupying rightful roles in economic area should have been in the forefront of translating and explaining measures to mitigate economic hardship.

“Their silence is loud enough. We kindly call upon you your Excellency to consider reshuffling the Cabinet within 3 months. The public patience is running thin.

Chakwera with a PAC delegation in this file photo

‘Your Excellency, the current term of office is five years. Swift decision-making process is required. Indecisiveness on reshuffling the Cabinet, the revelations that your daughter assumed duties at the Embassy in UK, failure to make public Public Sector Systems Review Report submitted by the Vice President, and the failure to fire Ministers allegedly involved in corruption as you acted on Hon. Ken Kandodo has led Malawians to brand your leadership as tainted with lies and corruption,” read the PAC speech.

The quasi-religious grouping asked Chakwera to consider changes at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for what it described as reputational challenges.

During the meeting, PAC also expressed  concern towards the country’s corruption drive emanating from contradictions in the manner he treated Minister of Energy, Newton Kambala and Lands Minister Kezzie Msukwa over corrupt dealings by firing the former and sparing the latter.

Former energy Minister Newtwon Kambala at the police station following his arrest

“In this vein, these recent developments on the fight against corruption have cast doubt on your political will to deal with corruption in Malawi. Unfortunately, media stories on the investigation by British and Malawi officials into businessman Zuneth Sattar appears greater in size which could undermine the integrity of the current administration. Your Excellency may consider avoiding the use of selective justice in treating cabinet Ministers- especially on issues you are able to make decisions,” he said.

On the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) it urged the Tonse administration to consider reviewing the exercise which could provide direction in terms of sustainability or define its exit strategy in the wake of budget constraints the nation is facing.

The body cautioned that it will not continue holding dialogue without actions being taken adding that it will rather opt for second level meeting in form of an All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference with a development agenda should the indecisiveness continue.