Government Hailed for Demonstrable 'Humility' in the Face of Criticism
Observers have described as “humility never seen at presidency level in Malawi” President Lazarus Chakwera’s admission of anomalies in some of the appointments he recently made “and going further to withhold” such decisions until the due processes and procedures have eventually been observed.
Sostein Mafosha Mwanda said he was “amazed” to hear the president take responsibility for mistakes and taking time to clarify other issues, publicly commit to rectify them going forward.
Mwanda was referring to President Chakwera’s acknowledgement of public observations on how he announced the appointment of Dr. George Kainja as Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service.
“Never in the history of this country has a president been so human as to admit an anomaly and proceed to publicly rectify it. He is demystifying the presidency,” Mwanda said in an interview with Zodiak Online.
President Chakwera further clarified that names of John Bizwick and Henry Ngutwa who had been portrayed as appointed Commissioner General and Deputy Commissioner General for Malawi Revenue Authority respectively were in the caretaker positions awaiting decisions of the board at MRA.
“My appointments are only made to function in an acting capacity until the Board is reconstituted and in place to make permanent appointments. I have made these provisional appointments to stop the free-for-all pilferage of taxes and the destruction of evidence that have been taking place there in the last few weeks, crimes which need to be stopped as a matter of urgency.
“As for the appointment of the Deputy Inspector General, it has duly been withheld pending a regularization process, and I commend all of you who noted the anomaly,” Chakwera said.
The president, franked by his vice Saulosi Chilima, also openly tackled public criticism that his cabinet does not empower women or persons with disabilities, because no ministry bore the gender coinage saying his administration would not copy-and-paste previous styles that in fact were only on paper and not practice.
He said the approach of his administration was to place issues of gender and disability within the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare with a fully empowered and resourced Principal Secretary.
“These are only absent in name, not in fact. While it may have been the practice of the previous Administration to neglect any areas not appearing on the cabinet list by name, that kind of tokenism is not part of the Tonse Philosophy.
“A name is not as important as outcomes,” he said adding that the Tonse Philosophy compels us to move away from paying lip service to the plight of women, children, and persons with disability as a publicity stunt, and to instead focus on alleviating that plight.
On concern that the majority of women appointed to his cabinet are deputies and not full ministers, Chakwera said he had “taken note” and would increase the number in his next cabinet early 2021.