Parliament’s Committee on Government Assurances and Public Service Reforms has advised government to start making radical decisions and sacrifices to accelerate the reforms agenda even in the face of resistance from people at the start.
Committee chairperson Harry Mkandawire said in an interview that he gave the advice yesterday in Lilongwe when his committee met Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who leads the Public Service Reforms Commission, to submit a report following their visit to Rwanda and Kenya.
Six members of the committee, including the chairperson, visited the countries between May 24 and June 1 2016 where, among others, they held meetings with government officials and heads of parastatals which implemented various reforms.
He said: “We submitted the report and the highlights are that for both Rwanda and Kenya to develop there were a lot of sacrifices that were made. Some of which were against the people’s will.”
Mkandawire said he further told the Vice-President not to relent in implementing the reforms for fear that they will hurt other people in their comfort zone.
He cited the ghost workers who were nearly eliminated in the civil service and that there were no longer cadres such as drivers and messengers in those countries.
Said Mkandawire: “They have decentralised the whole civil service in such a way that there is real work being done at the grass roots rather than at Capital Hill. As a result, the government has minimised on wastage and made savings which is good for the people.”
He also said their visits taught them that both Rwanda and Kenya excelled in implementing reforms because of people’s participation in programmes which translated into ownership and he was happy that the same course was taking place in Malawi.
On the Vice-President’s reaction to the report, Mkandawire said as always Chilima was passionate and thanked the lawmakers that the ownership of the reforms has started with Parliament through the committee.
Mkandawire stressed the need for political will and the Vice-President told them he was happy that the reforms and Parliament were on the same page which would be easier to take the reforms agenda to constituents for the masses to accept change.