United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi has pledged his commitment to embracing the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) 19 key issues in the fields of economic governance, economic situation and political developments in the country.
PAC came up with the key issues after observing that several policy developments and planned reforms over the past years have not effectively been implemented for lack of mechanisms to insulate them against constant changes.
The development has forced PAC to call for a transformative leadership; hence, it is engaging presidential hopefuls in the process expected to be concluded on February 17 to involve at least five presidential aspirants.
Other leaders lined up for the interface meetings are President Joyce Banda (PP), Mark Katsonga Phiri (PPM), Peter Mutharika (DPP) and Lazarus Chakwera (MCP). PAC justified the identification of the five party leaders, saying it was a matter of choice and sampling.
Speaking to journalists after a two-hour closed-door meeting with a six-member PAC team in Blantyre on Wednesday, Atupele said UDF has made oral submission to the 19 key issues, but will submit written responses before end of the week.
“As a party, we believe Malawi needs a transformative agenda. We, as UDF, would also like to ensure that promises we make to Malawians will be promises that we will be able to commit to once elected into office. It is commitment we are going to implement once elected into office,” he said.
PAC has prepared a set of 19 issues in a document titled Issues for Enhancing Transformative Leadership in Malawi which seeks commitment from political leaders.
Among the issues is economic governance where PAC observes that there is no permanent National Commission. PAC has prescribed a six-moth timeframe to be implemented after a new government is sworn in.
PAC chairperson Reverend Dr. Felix Chingota stated that Malawi has been developing policies over the years, but implementation and follow-up have remained huge challenges.
When reminded that the President recently established a High Level Development Council which has similar objectives, Chingota said the initiative is owned by the People’s Party (PP)-run government.
Other issues Atupele was asked to respond and commit to are deficiencies in Section 65 on crossing the floor in Parliament and debate on the reintroduction of Section 64 on the recall provision; deep-rooted corruption and fraud in all sectors; and independence of media institutions that MBC and Macra should be answerable to Parliament. The issues have a one-year time frame to be implemented.