A rights group has threatened to launch a legal challenge against the government’s fiscal year change, saying the Lazarus Chakwera administration did not consult before introducing the change.
This is according to CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa who addressed the media in the capital Lilongwe on Thursday, December 25, 2020.
Namiwa said that the decision by the Tonse Alliance-led government to change the fiscal year from July—June to April-March needed inputs from all concerned parties before materializing it.
The director further noted that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has not violated any law by making such a change in policy direction but only said the development needed reaction from all parties.
He further argued that the decision by the Tonse Government is only a sign that President Chakwera and other authorities are using the privilege of executive powers when making some crucial decisions.
“We, at CDEDI, believe that in a modern day democracy, deliberate efforts should have been made to create space for stakeholders’ consultations before government came up with such a drastic change in policy which will require amendments of some acts of parliament to accommodate the same.
“It is even more mind boggling when one looks back at the history of one of the major alliance partners, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Malawians of goodwill should be worried with the current trend of making dictatorial policy shifts, which if left unchecked, it will set a very bad precedent, under the disguise of using the privilege of executive powers,” he said.
He then challenged Chakwera to bring forward evidence that his government made consultations with relevant stakeholders before coming up the decision.
Namiwa warned that should the President fail to produce such an evidence, CDEDI will move the courts to stop government from implementing the policy shift until such a time when thorough consultations will have been done.
He also questioned the Tonse government’s decision to close borders without consulting relevant stakeholders.
“CDEDI believes such a decision should have been made with the relevant stakeholders who are likely to be directly affected, such as the revenue collection bodies and other business operators that are involved in cross border trade,” he added.
CDEDI has since challenged the Malawi Government to learn from the neighboring country Tanzania on how they managed to contain the pandemic without tampering with the border.