HANDS OFF CHAKWERA: “Public sector reforms report not for public entertainment”

A group calling itself Independent Civil society Organisations has defended President Lazarus Chakwera for not making public a “Public Sector Reform Report”.

Vice President Dr. Chilima led a taskforce that reviewed the government systems of procurement, allowances and employment contracts.

The taskforce presented the report to Chakwera in May 2022; and since then some civil society organizations have been pressuring Chakwera to make the report public.  

Last week, a document suspected to be a “Reforms Report” stormed both social and main stream media, a development which forced some CSOs to force president Chakwera to make the report public within 7 days.

However, speaking at a press briefing on Saturday in Blantyre leader for Independent Civil society Organisations Caesar Kondowe said CSOs must to not to pressurize Chakwera to release the report.

According Kondowe, the Independent Civil society Organisations have noted that the President Chakwera already addressed the issues contained in the “leaked document”.

“The President lamented that the report was not intended for public entertainment or futile debates that generate only noise.

Instead, it serves as a reference for him to engage with public institutions and officers, providing them with the necessary direction on the reforms they need to implement within their respective areas of responsibility,” said Kondowe

On his part, another member of the group Unandi Banda, said the executive arm has engaged various stakeholders, where issues and reforms derived from the Public Sector Reforms and Systems Review Report have been thoroughly discussed.

Speaking during the launch of National Action Plan (NAP) 2023-2025 for Open Government Partnership (OGP) in June last year President Chakwera said the public Sector Reforms and Systems Review Report submitted to him was not for public consumption, but a reference for his administration.

“The reforms report that I ordered and that was submitted to me by the Honorable Vice-President [Saulos Chilima] was not a document for public entertainment or public debates that produce nothing, but noise.

“It was a reference document for me as President to use in my own direct engagement with public institutions and public officers that need constant direction on the reforms they need to implement in their respective areas of responsibility. Something I have been doing for two years now,” said Chakwera as quoted by Nation Online

However, some good governance experts in the country says the Public Sector Reforms and Systems Review report should be a public document for Malawians to access and use as a reference point for assessment.

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