The President must make the report public and start implementing the recommended actions contained in the document that can take Malawi forward.
It is not surprising that President Lazarus Chakwera has decided to keep the proposed reforms a secret after they were made available to him on May 21, 2021, by Vice President Saulos Chilima.
Chakwera recently said it is wrong for people to say that he has not been implementing the reforms outlined in the report. He claims his government has been working on the reforms and has achieved some commendable milestones.
But how can a failing President appraise himself in the absence of his appraisal form? In this case, the appraisal form is the public service Reforms report which, unfortunately, has not been shared with the public up to date.
However, the President doesn’t have a clear picture of what he really wants to do for Malawi when he assigned his Vice President, Saulos Chilima, to come up with a report within a given short period of time.
First of all, Chakwera is completely clueless and doesn’t have any idea of how he can take this nation forward. All the pastor knows is kneeling down and praying, but there’s no action to match his words. Government is big business, and it is indeed serious business.
Secondly, the speech made by His Excellency the President aligns with his reluctance to act on the same report for over one year now. By refusing to make it public, he doesn’t help anyone but further reduces his popularity among his electorate.
Fourthly, this is yet another political thermometer that can be used to assess how Chakwera is failing to take Malawi forward. The citizens of this country are getting worried because this leader is acting like a student who doesn’t know anything but is failing to use a “likasa” that could probably help him score a little something.
Moving fast forward
Reforms frequently present an opportunity to restructure enterprises or the whole economy in ways that help achieve long-term objectives such as sustained long-term economic growth, employment, changes in income distribution, improved access to basic needs, etc.
Public sector reform consists of deliberate changes to the structures and processes of public sector organizations with the objective of improving their performance.
There are strategies for public sector reforms. Some of the strategies include: (1) increased accountability, (2) decentralization and delegation of authority and responsibility for decision-making and management, (3) application of information technology to improve management and responsiveness of governments to citizens, (4) developing and improving management control.
Conclusion: Moving slightly back and fast forward
The Chatsika Commission of 1995, during Bakili Muluzi’s leadership, focused on restructuring the civil service to improve performance and on enhancing the salary structure and benefits for civil servants, and it was open. The Chatsika Commission also resonated with the Herbecq Commission on the need to rationalize staffing in the civil service, particularly support services, to ensure that only employees shown on the establishment are recruited and retained.
Then the reform agenda was relaunched in 2015, reflecting a renewed impetus for reforms and was provided under the leadership of Arthur Peter Mutharika. This agenda was made public and can still be accessed for reference by everyone.
The renewed impetus was inspired by the need to address challenges experienced with previous reforms and make reforms work. It aimed to make the public service more efficient, effective, and accountable in the face of the deep-seated inertia and stagnation associated with the public sector, as well as the “cash-gate” scandal, which revealed deep corruption and theft in the public service.
The report in question, which is still under questionable wraps, was done to address what Chakwera said his government wanted to quickly fix the broken systems. However, from the look of things, the Tonse Alliance is busy breaking the systems of government through heavy corruption we have ever seen, and they cannot fix anything at all.
So what Pastor Lazarus Chakwera is doing by refusing to make the report public is very unfortunate and shouldn’t be the case. The President must make the report public and start implementing the recommended actions contained in the document that can take this country forward. The citizens of this country have the right to use it as a checklist after five years to decide whether the Tonse Alliance Government has delivered or not.