Vice-President Saulos Chilima has expressed dismay with persistent power outages at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc), hence has challenged management to improve or go.
Chilima, who is Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, is championing better service delivery to the citizenry from public institutions.
The Vice-President called out the Bicc management in relation to a five-minute blackout that occurred as he graced the African Institute for Development Policy (Afidep) dinner Friday to commemorate 10 years of their existence.
In his address, Chilima said the Bicc is a facility which should be run professionally.
He said the power outage was the second he experienced in a row, the first, which was also not an Escom fault, occurred during a presidential function.
Said Chilima: “My message comes in two parts, firstly, do not lead us into temptation. Secondly, this is an international convention centre, if you don’t know how to manage an international convention centre, please go home and let others come and operate it.”
However, in an interview, Umodzi Park general manager Ronuel Malikita apologised to the Vice-President for the mishap.
He said the power outage occurred because someone accidentally tampered with a power switch for the conference hall.
Turning to the 10 years commemoration, Chilima hailed Afidep for its role in providing research-based evidence in the implementation of government policies and programmes.
He acknowledged that traditional top-down approaches to developing Malawi have had limited success because they have not been centred on mobilising Malawians as agents in their own development.
“In a bid to change and reconstruct this approach, my Ministry of Economic Planning and Development is currently facilitating a result-based performance monitoring and accountability system that will put data and evidence at the centre of our socio-economic transformation efforts,” said Chilima.
He challenged other organisations, just like Afidep, to partner government in ensuring that the country is on track to achieving its developmental commitments.
Afidep board member Sosten Chiotha said the role of his organisation is to support the government in formulating and implementing research evidence-based policies as Malawians have complained for so long that government has good policies, but implementation is a challenge.