Malawi President Joyce Banda has been advised to form a government of national unity (GNU), with appointments based on merit, to move the country forward.
Commentators, including former president Bakili Muluzi, have also warned her against appointments based on appeasement.
In separate interviews on Thursday, the commentators argued that appointments should be made in the best interests of the country, geared towards resolving its economic, social and political problems.
Chancellor College political science associate professor Blessings Chinsinga said: “Given the state of the nation at the moment, that [collective responsibility] would be the right thing to do although it would be important that in doing so, she should appoint individuals who can deliver. It is something that the President should give some consideration.”
Muluzi, who is also Africaâ€™s goodwill ambassador, said Banda needs political parties represented in Parliament to pass bills and budgets to ensure development. He argued the inclusion of others would also help get rid of the zero-deficit budget which has economically crippled many Malawians.
He said there should be no appeasement, urging Banda to engage people she can trust. He called on Malawians to consider the appointments the President makes as part of her prerogative and not vengeance.
Said Muluzi: “I am very impressed with her enthusiasm. The way she is tackling issuesâ€”she is talking about issues of human rights and rule of law, I am very impressed.”
Public Affairs Committee (PAC) spokesperson the Reverend Maurice Munthali said the GNU has worked for many countries. But he said it is up to the President to choose the kind of government she wants.
Said Munthali: “Our emphasis is the type of people she chooses. [She may wish to] include mature people, professional people who have expertise to heal the wounds of Malawians. But that is one of the biggest remedies for Malawians, a government of national unity.
“It is one of the best remedies as long as it is not a matter of pleasing political parties.â€
Banda ascended to the presidency by constitutional order after the sudden death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5 2012 after suffering a cardiac arrest.