As Public Affairs Committee (Pac) prepares for its Sixth All-Inclusive Conference, stakeholders have suggested a thorough review of recommendations made during previous gatherings so that they remain relevant to ordinary citizens.
The quasi-religious body is scheduled to conduct its next national stakeholders’ conference in few weeks’ time despite several previous recommendations remaining unresolved.
While stakeholders feel the conferences are still pertinent to the country, there was need to reflect on what transpired in the past forums in order to come up with better and practical strategies.
“The conferences are appropriate…but there is need to reflect on what transpired in the past so as to provide an opportunity to learn from that and come up with better and practical strategies of implementing the recommendations,” said political analyst Mustapha Hussein.
He observed that there was also need for clear plans of action that should show strategies, activities and the responsible people for particular tasks.
“In other words, PAC should come up with task forces that will monitor and evaluate the implementation of the recommendations and those task forces should share the information with the public,” he said.
Veteran politician and former Speaker of Parliament Sam Mpasu, who has attended such conferences before, said PAC must be commended for rightfully playing its role in pointing out issues that need government attention.
However, Mpasu stated that failure to implement the recommendations does not reflect a sign of worthlessness of the talks but rather government’s lack of seriousness with critical issues.
“If government is not taking appropriate approach or implement the recommendations it simply shows that it is not anxious to alleviate people’s problems. But PAC must continuously point out shortcomings that need government attention through such conferences,” he said.
On his part, Mathews Kambala, one of the business tycoons in the construction industry, said it was high time Malawians demanded that resolutions drawn during the conferences are championed and followed.
He said the fact that whatever is recommended at the conferences is not being implemented is the more reason why more of them should be organised.
“When things are generally not well in a country the most negatively affected is the business industry and that injures the economy because most businesses suffer, companies close and unemployment rate goes up,” he said.
PAC spokesperson Father Peter Mulomole said they feel since the conferences started a lot has been achieved and it was not necessarily up to his body to implement them.
“That we handed the report [Fifth All-Inclusive Conference] over to the President which represented views of Malawians was an achievement. But it is not us who are supposed to implement but the President who has the machinery for implementation,” he said.
However, Mulomole said unless authorities show political will and start placing priorities where they are supposed to be, issues of national interest and importance will never be appreciated.
“There is so much politicisation of issues, we look at political colours and the nation does not come first. Unless this changes, we will never move this country forward,” he said.
During the Fifth All Inclusive Stakeholders Conference in February last year, stakeholders called on PAC leadership to ensure speedy implementation of the resolutions.