We find President Joyce Bandaâ€™s comments at the elevation of T/A Mkanda in Mchinji on Tuesday somehow interesting, given the timing and the podium at which they were made.
They spark further debate.
To say that she replaced some fired public officers from Thyolo with people from Thyolo is not addressing the issue that the Malawi Law Society recently raisedâ€”that some top government officials have been fired without following procedures.
While what the President said may be valid, we believe it would have carried more weight if it were said at the time the dismissals were made, not after a public backlash over the same.
We say this because while the dismissals might have been justified, it is the lack of immediacy and clarity on the reasons behind the firing that has provoked the debate. People who are fired deserve to be given reasons. People that are hired also need due justification.
Of course, what the previous regime did by appointing people from the same tribe in influential positions was wrong, but by firing them without reasons, government is using one wrong to correct another; yet, two wrongs do not make a right. In the end, a lot of taxpayersâ€™ money will go down the drain in compensating the illegally or prematurely fired officers.
We are aware that the President has the final authority in hiring and firing of public officers, and people who did not qualify for their positions or were appointed dubiously ought to be relieved of their jobs indeed.
But our concern is on those that are qualified for the jobs and went through the necessary procedures in their appointment. The President would do better to look at their performance and contracts before firing them for whatever reasons.
It is only by doing so that the President will avoid unnecessary criticism and also save resources that go into legal battles and compensating the unlawfully fired public officers.
We need the money to support the countryâ€™s ailing economy.Â