Be careful of people who surround you – PAC tells Chakwera

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has warned President Lazarus Chakwera to be careful of people around him saying they may guide him into a wrong direction.

PAC chairperson Patrick Thawale made the remarks on Thursday when the committee had an interface with Chakwera at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

Thawale said there are three main factors that have affected leadership in Malawi and one of the factors is believing in ‘backyard cabinets’ which make decisions behind the formal cabinet.

He added that while a president may have people he trusts, over-reliance on such people may mislead the president.

“Too much reliance on ‘backyard cabinets’ may guide you into a wrong direction because of the interest they may have. So Your Excellency be careful of the people who surround you because always they will tell you what you want to hear,” said Thawale.

He further said that another challenge noted in presidents is that they use executive arrogance as a weapon against those who express divergent views.

“They feel Malawi is their property and therefore no constructive criticism should be expressed,” he said.

The PAC chairperson warned Chakwera against such attitude, saying Malawians are not the same they were 10 years ago.

He also advised Chakwera to refrain from deliberate disregard of rule of law, nepotism, tribalism and regionalism.

“Let us appoint capable people coming from even where we have not received more votes. It has been a   trend for governments to award positions to people from areas where they amassed more votes,” said Thawale.

During the interface, PAC also expressed concern over the size and composition of Chakwera’s 31-member cabinet which has been described by some quarters as a family cabinet.

Chakwera and PAC also discussed the Coronavirus pandemic, corruption, public sector reforms and electoral   and   constitutional reforms.