Vice-President Saulos Chilima has reiterated that the Tonse Alliance administration led by President Lazarus Chakwera will not embrace the bailing out of public institutions that fail to perform.
Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, issued the warning yesterday when he started technical meetings with Southern Region-based parastatals to appreciate the reforms’ progress.
The Vice-President, who yesterday held five separate meetings with parastatal managers, observed that most of them are in huge debt and need government bailout.
Said Chilima: “As a business, they must make money and meet their statutory obligations without fail. An institution that is commercial in nature must make money.
“I have strongly emphasised that the government will not go into the habit of bailouts of institutions that fail to perform.”
He cited Malawi Posts Corporation which has a K1.6 billion debt in utility bills and statutory obligations and K6.3 billion in taxes, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) levy and licences.
On the other hand, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation needs a bailout of K4.9 billion for tax arrears and K1.2 billion in pension arrears.
Chilima expressed worry that MPC has not made profits for the past 20 years. He also expressed dissatisfaction with how parastatals, including Macra have been operating under political influence and called for change.
Explained the Vice-President: “I have told the management [Macra] team that they are a regulator of communications and not politics. I have warned management to immediately de-politicise. I have told them that in this administration of His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, they must free themselves from political bondage and work as professionals.”
However, Chilima who is also a UTM Party leader, said he was pleased with plans that some parastatals have put in place for the country’s development.
In his remarks, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako, who was part of the meetings, condemned Macra management for financial resources’ wastage.
He has since vowed that he will ensure that Macra goes through a sanitisation process.