A Chancellor College based political analyst, Boniface Dulani, has cautioned Public Affairs Committee (Pac) to trade carefully lest it loses its substance on representing the masses on pertinent issues.
The remarks follow the appointment of Pac Executive Director, Robert Phiri, by President Peter Mutharika into the newly re-established Sadc National Committee (SNC) which among governance its mandate is to provide input at national level.
Ironically, some officials in Mutharika’s administration has on a number of occasions branded Pac as a pro-opposition body which is only bent at discrediting the ruling party.
Dulani said the quasi-religious body should take this as an opportunity to make contributions on behalf of the people at the committee level.
“I think it is a good move. The Public Affairs Committee has always wanted to engage government and to be involved in some of these governance issues, I don’t think the Public Affairs Committee always wants to be on the other side with government.
In one of the appointment letters from the Minister of Foreign and International Affairs dated October 25, 2016, which The Daily Times has seen government says the re-establishment of this committee come in accordance with the amended Sadc treaty of 2000.
Commenting on whether this will influence the way Pac does its work on governance issues, Pac Publicity Secretary, Peter Mulomole, said the appointment will not affect the organisation and was quick to say this will give Pac a wider platform to speak out on issues affecting the country.
“Of course people have been saying a lot regarding the credibility of Pac. As far as we are concerned, Pac is still operating within its mandate and we are not intimidated or bought as people are putting it. This appointment will not in any other way affect how we comment and make recommendations on governance issues in fact this will give us the opportunity to interact with government at a good level and make necessary recommendations,” Mulomole said.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Francis Kasaila, who is the chairperson of the committee said the committee will have five subsidiary bodies and the committee will be submitting periodic reports to cabinet for information and decisions.
“The role of SNC is among others to provide input at national level in the formulation of regional policies and strategies as well as coordinate and oversee the implementation of Sadc protocols, projects and programmes at national level,” it reads.
Apart from Pac, Mutharika has also appointed Clerk of Parliament, Fiona Kalemba and Chief Executive Officer of Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), Chancellor Kaferapanjira, as non-state actors.
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