…as Chakwera directs change of board leadership
Details have emerged that the board of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) ignored advice from Minister of Information Gospel Kazako to conduct their training locally to cut costs.
Malawi News reported a fortnight ago that five board members and two management officers travelled to Dubai for training on corporate governance and regulatory masterclass on Information Communication and Technology (ICT) at Pinnacle Training Institute and returned on June 12 2021.
The trip is reported to have cost the communications regulator K46 million.
Speaking at the launch of the National Fiber Backbone Project (Phase II) in Lilongwe, yesterday, President Lazarus Chakwera chided Macra board chairperson for wasteful expenditure on the trip.
The President said when he received a report from Kazako, he was dismayed with the wasteful spending at Macra.
He said: “That the board chair of Macra could not find a more cost-effective way of enhancing the capacity of board members than taking them to Dubai and blowing millions is a clear sign that the leadership of Macra Board needs to change immediately.”
However, Kazako explained that when Macra informed him of the trip, he found it expensive and advised them against the idea.
According to Kazako, it was more prudent to have the training conducted locally and invite the international trainer(s) to Malawi.
He said both the board and management teamed up against his proposal and insisted that the trip should still be undertaken.
“All this is well-documented. More than once, I told the board that this was expensive and difficult to explain to the public. I think if we need to change this country we must do things differently. The President has sent a strong message on this,” said Kazako.
The minister said what shocked him even more was the number of those that were listed to travel to Dubai for the training.
He said: “There were 14 people on this trip, including directors who have attended the training before. Why should one attend the same training over and over again?