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Public Affairs Committee warns of governance crisis

Influential–quasi religious organisation Public Affairs Committee (Pac), has warned that the country risks facing, ‘governance crisis’ following loss of trust by people following the way the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has handled the sale of the Malawi Savings Bank (MSB).

Pac has said the recent conduct of selling MSB manifests a lack of a listening attitude, and further constitutes executive arrogance by those who are in leadership.

“It is our considered view, therefore, that even at 50, it remains a distant dream to realise transformative leadership and constitutionalism in Malawi. It is also disturbing to note that old mechanisms of deceiving Parliament by securing the passage of the budget first then ignore the rule of law are resurrecting.

“In this regard, the leadership has fallen short of public expectation. The public should have been adequately informed of what sort of consultations took place for the government to hurriedly sell MSB. This sale has cast doubt in terms of the government’s motivation for it to ignore the call from the National Assembly for more information on the intended sale, as was the situation then. If this is the way the government will proceed with its leadership, Malawi may face a governance crisis because trust has been eroded,” reads a statement issued yesterday and signed by Pac Chairperson Felix Chingota and Publicity Secretary Peter Mulomole.

The statement further observes that government has ignored fundamental principles enshrined in the Republican Constitution

Section12 (a) stipulates that all legal and political authority of the State derives from the people of Malawi and shall be exercised in accordance with the Constitution solely to serve and protect their interests.

The statement notes that Section 12 (c) states that the authority to exercise power of State is conditional upon the sustained trust of the people of Malawi and that trust can only be maintained through open, accountable and transparent government and informed democratic choice.

During an interface meeting with Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya in May this year, Pac made it clear that it was not against the sale of the bank , but argued that the due process of the sale be transparent.

The grouping has since underscored findings of its second all-inclusive stakeholders’ conference held in 2012 which among others noted that on separation of powers, state institutions in Malawi seem to have been captured by the Executive arm of government and as a result they have lost autonomy and impartiality in the discharge of their duties.

Government sold the bank just a day after Parliament voted against such a move.

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