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Act on challenges now!

The Public Affairs Committee (Pac) 5+1 All-inclusive Stakeholders Conference ended Thursday with suggestions of areas the government should work on. We might dare say the conference did not identify new problems. If anything, some delegates alluded to the fact that some of the areas included in resolutions Pac delegates made in 2016 are yet to be addressed by the government.

As a result, delegates were compelled to issue ultimatums, seeing, as it were, that a horde of issues remain unresolved, among them the probe into the death of Anti- Corruption Bureau Director of Corporate Affairs Issa Njauju, the closure of Chancellor College and the probe into Maizegate have become issues better said than done as the government and its agencies pay lip service.

Our diagnosis, therefore, is that the government knows and understands challenges this country is facing, but chooses to look the other side as our country sinks into the pit of poverty, corruption, economic malaise, fraud and abuse of office.

We cannot go on like this.

In fact, mere assurances from government officials— most notably Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister and the government spokesperson— will not make the problems disappear. It is action that will.

It is disappointing, therefore, that the government officials made the assurances when, ironically, they have employed every tactic in the book to frustrate the work of government officials who were appointed as members of the government team to lead in discussions with Pac representatives and ensure that the 2016 resolutions were followed through.

This means we can save on time and resources by addressing challenges that have already been identified, instead of organising meetings just to raise issues that are so obvious that they have turned into common sense.

The government should stop taking Malawians for granted by addressing issues that are thwarting progress. Otherwise, the government and civil society will continue to pull in opposite directions and the victim will be the ordinary Malawian.

We have had enough of lip service. The government should get to work.

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