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Journalists barred from reforms meet

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Journalists were Wednesday barred from covering sectoral conferences on the implementation of public sector reforms currently underway at Capita Hotel in Lilongwe.

Even members of the general public who had interest in the issue were told to leave the venue of the conference stressing that “only those invited should attend”.

Ironically, Chief Director in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), Responsible for Public Sector Reforms, Seodi White, recently told the media to be showing interest in the reforms by checking with government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on strides being made.

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The conferences’ objective is for government institutions to share experiences and showcase their achievements in the implementation of the reforms agenda.

Yesterday, some of the stakeholders that were scheduled to present progress reports on the reforms were Ministry of Health, Central Medical Stores Trust, Medical Council of Malawi and Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development among others.

Prior to the meeting, a director of ceremonies told journalists and other uninvited people to leave the room as the conferences were meant for stakeholders that were only invited.

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“If there are any participants, journalists or anybody who was not invited, should leave the room. The meeting is between the stakeholders invited and OPC. The media was invited when the Chief Secretary [Lloyd Muhara]was opening the conference. The rest of the meeting is only for those invited,” she said.

Journalists were, however, able to cover the conferences in the first two days of the week-long sessions.

During the opening, government touted the success rate on the implementation and effectiveness of the reforms at 85 percent although some of the government institutions such as the grain trader Admarc and Northern Region Water Board disclosed that it is facing challenges in the implementation of the reforms.

Muhara also admitted existence of some challenges in some government’s MDAs and expressed optimism that the conference will play a significant role in addressing some of the challenges.

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