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Peter Mutharika takes stock of his one-year rule

President Peter Mutharika has taken a stock of his one year rule in his state of the nation address delivered on Monday where he also outlined what his government is set to do in the next year of his regime.

This is against the background of a proposed stakeholders meeting organised by Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) in partnership with Freedom House to reflect on Mutharika’s one year rule to take place in Salima on Monday.

“As we commemorate our one year in office, I would like to account to the nation what the Democratic Progressive Party government has done in the past 12 months by highlighting major achievements,” said Mutharika.

Looking ahead, Mutharika said his government will continue with the Public Service Reforms which he touted as one of the milestones of his one-year rule.

“In the coming year, we will continue with all the projects and policies that we have instituted this past year,” he said.

Mutharika urged Malawians to use the 2014/2015 experiences as stepping stones for better delivery of growth and development.

“We expect that reforms in the other branches of the government—the Judiciary and the Legislature—will be instituted and the Public Service Reform Commission is prepared to assist these two branches of the government in their reform efforts,” he said.

Mutharika also said he hopes that the private sector will also engage in its own reform programmes, especially with respect to corporate governance.

“We will encourage civil society, political parties and other non-governmental institutions to embark on their own reform programmes,” he said.

Some of the activities Mutharika said fared well in the year under review and will be carried forward in the following year include the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp), and building more community colleges in 17 districts.

Other initiatives, he said, which will continue include the Cement and Malata Subsidy programme, the road and infrastructure programmes, the cash transfer programme to the remaining districts “so as to improve the lives of those members of our society who are severely deprived”.

“We will expand the Public Works Programme for the benefit of our brothers and sisters who are economically disadvantaged,” he said, adding that he will also continue to aggressively attract private foreign investors so as to set Malawi on the path towards economic independence.

“We will be introducing a number of new laws in such areas as, mining, information etc,” he said.

It not clear whether Mutharika’s decision to continue with some of his programmes will be approved by the civil society bodies at their meeting.

CHRR Executive Director Timothy Mtambo said the meeting is purposed at providing key stakeholders the opportunity to take stock of President Mutharika’s performance in the promotion of democratic and economic governance and human rights in the one year he has been at the helm.

“What are the successes registered? What are the lessons learnt? What are the challenges or areas requiring improvement?” explained Mtambo who said it is expected that at the end of the meeting the invited delegates will come up with recommendations which shall be subsequently shared with the President.

Mtambo said this year’s event is unique in the sense that it provides various stakeholders with different expertise to share views and ideas on one platform on how the current regime has fared.

“And what ought to be done to consolidate the gains registered and also improve where we are not doing well as we move into the other year under Mutharika’s rule,” he said.

Mutharika looked at 15 areas, first among them, the state of the economy where he again said the Malawi economy now enjoys positive growth despite the challenges faced this year as a result of floods and dry spells that affected agricultural production.

“It is estimated that the economy grew by 5.5 percent and is expected to rebound to higher levels averaging 7 percent or higher from next year,” he said.

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