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HRDC to keep track on cabinet concerns

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Ernest Thindwa

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Gift Trapence has said the organisation will keep track on what President Lazarus Chakwera has said that he will make appropriate changes in response to some of the issues raised regarding composition of the newly appointed cabinet.

This comes after the President Friday maintained the cabinet, which critics had argued it bordered on political appeasement.

“As you are aware, we conveyed all concerns of Malawians to the President…he did acknowledge in his speech to that effect and we will make appropriate follow up,” Trapence said.

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Meanwhile, Chancellor College political analyst Ernest Thindwa has said each cabinet that will be constituted will almost invariably be subjected to critical scrutiny from the increasingly aware and actively involved interest groups, as well as the wider citizenry who hold diverse expectations.

“While some voices suggest the President could have done better, I am of the view that the President had to reconcile multiple competing interests and demands such that the much critised cabinet is a logical outcome of that process,” Thindwa said.

He said while being sensitive to other politically correct considerations when constituting a cabinet in a politically divided and socially diverse society helps to manage public perception, such initiative should not undermine the capacity of the cabinet to drive the Tonse agenda.

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Thindwa has said regardless of the composition of the cabinet, what an ordinary Malawian expects from the Chakwera administration is, at minimum, meaningful change in their daily livelihood.

Thindwa then suggested that the practice of performance contracts for the Ministers should be extended to all Chief Executive Officers of parastatals and councils.

He said such officials should periodically and publicly present a quarterly progress report, to not only update citizens as ultimate employers but also to provide basis for assessment by the President as the main supervisor.

President Chakwera announced Friday during the swearing-in of his cabinet that the ministers would come under scrutiny at the elapse of five months.

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