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Reduce presidential powers—Pac

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The Public Affair Committee (Pac) has said the political administrative system of the country does not deliver its duties satisfactorily due to extreme powers the Executive arm of government have over other institutions.

Pac Chairperson Reverend Felix Chingota said the solution to the challenge is reducing presidential powers and giving governance institutions more powers.

The observation was made during a federalism consultative conference held in Blantyre last week.

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He said the move would improve governance challenges currently rocking the country if the decentralisation process is taken up to its appropriate conclusion.

“The idea is that we must try as much as possible that development is brought to the grass-roots level,” said Chingota.

He observed that people the Blantyre conference did not regard the introduction of the federalism system of government as a solution to the governance challenges but opted for reforms that would lead to the reduction of powers of the Executive.

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Chingota observed that if local councils are empowered financially and technically, the country may prosper economically and socially.

He was, however, quick to point out that Pac will scrutinise the outcome of all the regional and national conferences then map the way forward.

In an interview on Sunday, Church and Society of Livingstonia Synod’s Moses Mkandawire concurred with Chingota, saying the unitary system of governance Malawi adopted that gives too much power to the Executive is the bone of contention triggering federalism debate.

“You may not really blame an individual occupying the office because the current system of governance is what makes them behave the way they do when it come to allocation of resources and the national development programme,” he said.

Mkandawire also said federalism is one way of devolving those powers to the peripherals so that people can make decisions without making any references to Lilongwe.

Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Francis Kasaila said the President will relinquish his powers so that he does not spend much time doing things that others can do.

“In our manifesto we did not say we’ll do everything in the first year; we still have four years to do the same and I think people should judge us when our term is over,” he said.

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