President Lazarus Chakwera says he is not in a hurry to make public appointments or changes, saying everything needs to be done in an orderly manner and in accordance with the dictates of the law.
In an interview on Tiuzeni Zoona talk show on privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) radio, the President also said he was taking into consideration feedback from people; hence, the delays in making some appointments.
Said Chakwera: “If it is about delays in removing and replacing a specific individual, then that is not right in a number of ways. One of it [the reasons] is that we should not appoint someone in contrast to what the law says.
“When we are fixing things or when we are changing positions, there should be tolerance and respect for incumbent position holders so that proper handovers are made even when there are issues.”
The President, who was head of the Malawi Assemblies of God Church before joining frontline politics in 2013, said there was need to abolish a culture where a change of regime means disregarding necessary procedures, including handovers.
He said he believes that regardless of situations, there should be a proper way of doing things and procedures to be followed.
Chakwera, who teamed up with UTM Party president and the country’s then estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima as his running mate in the June 23 fresh presidential election, said it would not be proper to talk about his intention to stand again in the next election.
He said the focus now should be on how the country would be rebuilt, saying the issue of his candidacy in the next election would be tackled “when we get to that bridge”.
Chilima is on record as having hinted that the presidency or presidential ticket of Tonse Alliance would be rotational among partner parties.
During yesterday’s interview, Chakwera also stated that his relationship with Chilima as his Vice-President will not at any point be complicated, emphasising that their main agenda is to rebuild the country.
Since 1994 when the country adopted a new Constitution that created the Office of the Vice-President, the relationship between the President and Veep has often been strained, with the Vice-President being sidelined in the course of the tenure of office.
Reacting to Chakwera’s interview, governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali yesterday said the need to follow procedures and the law was the way to go.
But he said the Tonse Alliance administration should not be too slow to act as time is not on their side because Malawians are eagerly waiting for them to begin fulfilling their manifestos; hence, there is need for human resource to implement the pledges.
On whether Chakwera will represent the nine-party alliance again in the next election, he said that was something parties in the alliance may have already agreed upon before signing their agreement.
During the interview, Chakwera also defended his appointments of retired individuals back into the public service, saying they have been recalled to perform specific functions and would not be there for long as stipulated in their respective contracts.
He also backed the arrest of several officials under the ousted Democratic Progressive Party, saying the law is taking its course and not necessarily being selective.
While stressing his commitment to trim presidential powers, Chakwera said Tonse Alliance will work strongly to rebuild the country as everyone in the alliance has a role to play.
On his part, politician-cum-commentator Humphrey Mvula said it is correct that every procedure must be followed in removing anyone from an existing position because respecting the rule of law is the foundation of democracy.
He also said it would be too early and a distraction to start speculating about whether Chakwera will lead the alliance again or not.