Mutharika changes cabinet policy

President Peter Mutharika has
warned he will dismiss any Cabinet
minister who makes unilateral
policy decisions, commit
government to undertakings not
approved by Cabinet and collude
with public officers to circumvent
the law for selfish ends.
Speaking when he officially
opened an orientation workshop
for ministers and deputy ministers
at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in
Mangochi yesterday, Mutharika,
whose administration has so far
taken several policy paradigm
shifts, said he expects a Cabinet
that is above board and which
provides exemplary leadership.
Said the President: “Over the
years, I have noted, with great
concern, that, oftentimes,
ministers and deputy ministers
unilaterally approve sectoral
policies or, indeed, commit
government to certain major
undertakings without involving
Cabinet. I will not tolerate it
because it is unprofessional and
out of order. It ought to stop
forthwith.
“I will not hesitate to fire any
minister, deputy minister or
controlling officer who deliberately
circumvents the rule. Where in
doubt, please consult the Chief
Secretary to the Government for
advice.”
The President’s warning capped
weeks of new policy
announcements, which include a
directive last week to restructure
the Office of the President and
Cabinet (OPC) to remove all
functions that did not fall within
the core of the office’s
responsibilities and aligning them
to sector ministries.
The President said the three-day
workshop has been organised to
prepare members of the Cabinet to
ably meet the challenges besetting
the nation by equipping them with
knowledge on government
systems, processes and
procedures.
He urged the ministers to always
comply with the law in the conduct
and when discharging their duties,
reminding them that: “please
always remember that no one is
above the law in this country.”
The Public Finance Management
Act, 2003; the Public Procurement
Act, 2003, and the Public Audit Act,
2003—pieces of legislation enacted
for fighting financial discipline in
the public sector—are among
those that will be covered during
the seminar.
Mutharika emphasised his
commitment to fight corruption,
and, thus, advised the ministers to
be beyond reproach, saying issues
of transparency and accountability
are extremely important.
Former vice-president Justin
Malewezi, a long-time civil servant,
is one of the resource persons at
the workshop being held at
Sunbird Nkopola Lodge’s
Lakeshore International
Conference Centre.

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