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Pac courts Lazarus Chakwera on Cabinet

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Quasi-religious group Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has announced plans to engage President Lazarus Chakwera on his pledge that he would assess his Cabinet members’ performance and fire poor performers within six months.

The development comes barely a month after the President engaged Pac leaders and asked them to consider turning the committee into a constitutional body, citing Pac’s significant contribution to the country’s democracy and national development endeavours.

Chakwera swore in a 31-member on July 10 2020, meaning that one year and two days have elapsed but the President has not made any effort to live up to his words.

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Pac spokesperson Bishop Gilford Matonga told The Daily Times Sunday that they have an open invitation with Chakwera, enabling the committee to engage the President on issues when the need arises.

Matonga said, should nothing be done between now and the next meeting with the President, the quasi-religious body would remind Chakwera of the promise he made to Malawians.

“We have had an open-door policy with the State House that we can meet the President at any time. So, we are in the process of continuing to engage the President not necessarily on the issue of the Cabinet but the Cabinet will be one of the issues if nothing is done between now and the time that we meet him,” Matonga said.

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In January this year, Transport Minister Mohammad Sidik Mia and Local Government Minister Lingson Berekanyama succumbed to Covid.

However, the two are yet to be replaced, some six months down the line.

On April 18 this year, Chakwera relieved the then Labour minister Ken Kandodo of his duties and he, too, is yet to be replaced.

Speaking in Lilongwe when he swore in the transition Cabinet last year, Chakwera gave the ministers five months to clean the mess in the ministries characterised by wanton wastage of resources, a greedy monopoly in the awarding of contracts, incompetence in the standard of work and systemic inefficiencies.

“You each have five months to produce results that will give Malawians confidence that change has come. At the end of that period, you will each report to Malawians publicly on your progress in each of the key performance indicators that I will give you.

“At the start of the new year, I will shortlist those of you whose performance I find satisfactory and include you among those who will be publicly interviewed for a year-long appointment on my 2021 Cabinet. As you already know, many Malawians are not as persuaded as I am that you are the right people for this job,” Chakwera said.

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