Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Government flip-flopping not inspiring confidence


It is widely believed that running a government is a very serious business and those entrusted to do so must show that they are on top of the heap.

But looking at the way the government keeps on going back and forth, one is left with an impression that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration is not serious to steer properly the ship that is Malawi.

Just two weeks ago, the government, through Information Minister Nicholas Dausi, disappointed a lot of Malawians when it announced suspension of sim card registration. Times Group argued on all its platforms that the decision lacked legal basis and did not make socio-economic sense.


Ironically, Dausi grabs every available opportunity to remind Malawians that running a government is the finest of all fine arts.

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) announced the mandatory Sim card registration based on the Communications Act of 2016. The Act obliges every user of Sim card for telephony services to register their particulars with a telephone service provider.

To be precise, Section 92 of the Act stipulates: “A person who uses a generic number or owns or intends to use a Sim card for voice telephony services shall register that generic number of Sim card with any electronic communications licensee or with the distributor, agent or dealer of the electronic communications licensee, authorised to provide or sell generic numbers or Sim cards.”


Members of Parliament duly passed the law and it was surprising to see them rising against its implementation. It was utterly wrong for the government to suspend implementation of the law as if the registration was based on policy.

The challenge the DPP administration has is that it links every decision to the 2019 Tripartite Elections. The government is clearly panicking, seeing that time is not on its side to serve Malawians. Unfortunately, instead of mending its ways, the government is wasting time picking unnecessary fights with the opposition, human rights activists as well as the independent media.

We advise the government to go by the rule of law in its actions. No-one will fault it if it runs this country based on rules that we all agreed to.

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