President Lazarus Chakwera has said he will be giving the nation updates on developments in the country every week during the first 100 days of office as one way of enhancing transparency and accountability of the government.
Executive Assistant to the President Sean Kampondeni said this in an interview on Sunday, saying Chakwera is committed to running government in an open manner and upholding the rule of law.
After ascending to power on June 28, Chakwera has so far given two updates on the affairs of the country, on day two and ten, in which he outlined some of the activities that he and his deputy Saulos Chilima had undertaken and appointments made.
“The updates will be weekly during the first 100 days after which he will review its utility. His goal is to remain fully accountable to Malawians as he promised. This is only one avenue he will use for doing so,” Kampondeni said.
According to Kampondeni, among other things, the President gets feedback on issues of national importance mostly through the media, both mainstream and social, that will continue to inform his decisions for the good of the nation.
“Also there are stakeholders that lobby him directly; the President does not in any way intend to depart from the servant leadership that he promised throughout the campaign period,” he added.
Reacting to the move, political analyst Earnest Thindwa said the move will ensure that the presidency remains in touch with the masses but was however skeptical on its sustainability.
“In the last administration, communication channels between the President and the public were completely blocked. One would think they were able to have access through the social media to what people were discussing but there was no interest really. So this is a good start for the new administration,” Thindwa said.
Another political analyst George Phiri from the University of Livingstonia said on Friday that by virtue of taking some of the public views on board, Chakwera does not automatically become a listening president saying critical issues lie yet ahead.
“There are more critical issues coming in which we will see whether he is a listening President or not. This one was crucial yes, but it may be too soon to shower praise,” Phiri said in reaction to Chakwera’s address of concerns raised by some stakeholders who faulted his Cabinet which saw siblings and spouses being drafted in.