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Lazarus Chakwera demands the best from civil servants

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President Lazarus Chakwera Monday asked top civil servants to unleash their best performance as the Tonse Alliance-led administration strives to deliver its campaign promises on jobs, wealth and food security to Malawians.

Chakwera was speaking at Capital Hill in Lilongwe, where he launched Presidential Delivery Labs— a set of small teams under the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) — which are expected to fast-track the attainment of strategic objectives of the Presidential Transformation Agenda.

Comparing himself to a minibus driver and Vice President Saulos Chilima to a mechanic, Chakwera said the bus still needed the services of a conductor— in this case civil servants— to ensure that all the goods are taken on board and safely delivered to the final destination.

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Chakwera said it was possible to have a good driver, good mechanic and good minibus but still fail to deliver goods promised to Malawians because the conductors failed or forgot to put the goods on the bus or failed to protect the goods from damage, theft or loss along the way.

“As you can see, we need all three components to be functional if we are going to reach our desired destination. So, the Delivery Lab we are launching today is a place where the team from my office will work with controlling officers and directors of specific MDAs [ministries, departments and agencies] to make sure that programmes and projects in those MDAs are carrying the goods we promised to deliver to Malawians.

“However, whether one is on the bus as driver or mechanic or conductor, the measure of success for the journey is the successful delivery of the goods. That is why both the unit in my office and the lab it will conduct in the next four weeks [will] place emphasis on delivery,” Chakwera said.

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The Malawi leader said the Delivery Lab provides the right platform where collaboration will be key to delivering the goods.

“So if you are a [Cabinet] minister or principal secretary or director, and the head of the PDU calls you into the lab, it means I have called you to work with my office on delivering something to Malawians that cannot be done without collaboration,” Chakwera said.

The Presidential Delivery Labs are prompted by Chikwera’s desire to achieve accelerated and coordinated delivery of the government’s priorities of agro-industrialisation, infrastructure, human capital, digitisation and governance.

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