Public Sector Reforms Continue in Absence of Chilima-PSRMD
The Public Sector Reforms Management Department (PSRMD) says it is continuing to carry out its mandate on reforms at a time President Lazarus Chakwera stopped delegating tasks to Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima.
Director of Reforms on Information, Education and Communication Suzgo Khunga says the implementation of reforms is an ongoing process and following the recent monitoring visits, district councils have been guided on the way forward.
Khunga adds that the department continues with its mandate to coordinate and provide strategic leadership in the planning and implementation of reforms Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Constitutional bodies and parastatals.
"PSRMD is mandated to coordinate and provide strategic leadership in the planning and implementation of public sector reforms and it continues to carry out its mandate. It is an ongoing process that does not stop.
"Monitoring visits to councils are an ongoing activity that allows councils to report on progress of Reforms that they have committed to undertake.
Additionally, between monitoring visits, the Department supports and monitors implementation of innovative Reforms as well as monitor progress of Reforms in other MDAs, constitutional bodies and parastatals.
"Following the monitoring visits, district councils are guided on the way forward on the reform areas and requested to report back after an agreed period," Khunga said.
She further gave an example of Thyolo district where there is a remarkable progress on one of its reform areas of enhancing agricultural productivity through promotion of maize and sweet potato production under irrigation.
Meanwhile, governance expert Victor Chipofya says apart from motivation as a figurehead, the absence of Dr. Chilima will have a minimal bearing on the future of reforms, since the department has people who carry out the duties.
"There are people who are working there. There is only one person who is not delegated now who happens to be the Vice President. And the Veep mostly is more less like the figurehead within that institution. Yes he does make directives and leadership decisions, but most decisions are done by different other players in the institution," he said.
Another analyst Wonderful Mkhutche says Dr. Chilima was vital in implementation of the reforms agenda and proposes that the department should be empowered.
"The department simply has to continue. However, they will still be affected to some degree because the Veep was handling them in a better and political way that they cannot do in his absence.
"So, the way forward, it must be that the department has to be empowered," Mkhutche suggested.
Among others, in March this year, Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima who was championing the Reforms said government would resolve land issues in Thyolo district and a fix in Mulanje where two conflicting projects-mining and tourism in Mountain Forest Reserve are on the card.
Dr. Chilima said under land governance reforms government would bring on the table the issue of land where locals in Thyolo and Mulanje claim was obtained fraudulently.
President Chakwera stopped delegating Dr. Chilima after he appeared in the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report over the alleged involvement in corrupt dealings with Zuneth Sattar.