The African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC) has cautioned government and the opposition against bringing politics into the operations of the National Planning Commission (NPC).
AICC chief executive officer Felix Lombe said separation of politics from the operations of the commission is paramount to ensuring that the body is effective and efficient in carrying out its mandate.
He made the sentiments in an exclusive interview in Lilongwe on Monday when asked to comment on the appointment of the NPC commissioners by President Peter Mutharika last week.
Mutharika appointed a six-member commission comprising Professor Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa (chairperson), Mercy Masoo, Professor Richard Mkandawire, Graham Chipande, Abigail Dzimadzi and Evance Mwathunga.
This follows the assenting to of the NPC Act by Mutharika in January this year.
The commission will spearhead the implementation of the National Development Strategy (NDS) and guide the country’s long-term development agenda.
However, Lombe expressed fear that the commission may end up to be another white elephant if those in power or the opposition choose to frustrate its operations.
He warned: “Government and the opposition need to provide an operational and administrative space to the body [for it to deliver as per its mandate]. If it’s not going to be given the necessary space, we should expect another white elephant in the room.”
However, Lombe stated that the establishment of the commission and the appointment of its commissioners had come at a “very strategic time” when Malawi is in the process of coming up with an NDS.
Speaking when he briefed key government heads and development partners in Lilongwe recently, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development chief economist Sipho Billiat said the next development strategy currently being developed will focus on fewer priority areas.