Civil society organisations in Malawi have asked the current administration to learn from the mistakes made by the then ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under the late president Bingu wa Mutharika if it is to win public confidence and trust.
Constitutional principles laid out in Section 12 of the Constitution include democratic accountability, protection of human rights and the rule of law.
Billy Mayaya, who is a member of the Civic and Political Space Platform, said there is need for government to listen to dissenting views because governments can collapse if they do not listen to people.
Speaking in an interview at Sunbird Capital on Wednesday, on the sidelines of workshop to discuss the Status of Governance Report in Malawi in 2011 compiled by the Danish Church Aid, Mayaya said it is important to restructure the form and content of government so that it is able to respond to the social, political and economic needs of Malawians.
â€œWhat we have seen is that the challenges besetting government emanate from the way the government is structured. We have a very good Constitution but sometime it becomes difficult for those governing to follow it to the letter. What we want is a process whereby government is guided by the constitutional values, transparency and accountability as well as rule of law,â€ he said.
Civic and Political Space Platform chairperson Moses Mkandawire said he appreciates the fact that Malawians are now able to discuss governance issues without hindrance.
â€œThere was a total political decay and economic collapse as manifested in the lack of political tolerance, Executive arrogance and queues for fuel, sugar, forex and drug shortages and threats were the order of the day which eventually led to the July 20 massacre, looting and theft,â€ he said.
The report tackles issues of political, corporate and socio-economic governance as well as the media dimension.