A Social commentator has suggested that President Lazarus Chakwera’s threat to fire all non-performing cabinet ministers regardless of political or other influences should be a wakeup call to those serving in his administration.
Chakwera issued the warning in a national address on the status of this year’s Affordable Input Programme (AIP).
The warning also came with the firing of Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe and his deputy Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima.
“I come before you to inform you that in exercise of the powers vested in me by Section 89 of the Constitution, I have relieved the Minister of Agriculture and his deputy of their posts in my cabinet with immediate effect,” Chakwera announced.
The president attributed his decision to various failures by the ministry under Lowe’s tutelage which include failure to roll out the AIP by September, as well as the controversial procurement fraud involving SFFRFM and a British firm.
Chakwera went on to stressed that “There are serious problems in the agricultural sector that need to be fixed as a matter of urgency, in the face of which the food security of the country has been left in grave jeopardy. Even though there is still time to resolve the problems, there is simply no way this can be done by the same careless leadership that has failed to fulfil its mandate over the sector”.
According to Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences – MUBAS-based socio-political analyst, Chimwemwe Tsitsi, Chakwera’s remarks confirm his intent to bring sanity and competence in his rule.
“Politically I think it’s a good move provided that the president walks the talk, because political rhetoric is something and implementing what someone is saying is something else. when it comes to anyone who is an office bearer their performance is what becomes critical and every cabinet member is now doing some soul searching,” Tsitsi said.
Chakwera has stressed that he would not maintain incompetent figures in his regime at the expense of ordinary Malawians.
However, Malawians’ memories are still fresh of similar notices by the President which have either taken ages to be fulfilled or never been executed at all.
A case in point is Eisenhower Mkaka who is still serving as Natural Resources Minister months after Chakwera’s declaration to fire any public under investigation for corruption.
Mkaka is being probed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau – ACB in connection to a top-of-the-range motor vehicle he allegedly received from UK-based corruption suspect, Zuneth Sattar.
Meanwhile, the President has underlined his readiness to serve Malawians without the help of individuals who feel entitled because of their political or other affiliations.
“Malawians deserve results, and they elected me to deliver those results, and I will see to it that those 13 results are delivered with or without you, because I am not here to serve a party, or a Minister, or an alliance. I am here to serve Malawians,” Chakwera emphasized.