An influential youth rights activist has called on President Lazarus Chakwera to stop the recruitment of Tony Blair and his team as advisors to the government, with some observeser saying his administarion has failed to explain what is their challenge.
Charged Kajoloweka, who is the executive director of Youth and Society has described the government’s decision to hire the Tony Blair Institute (TBI ) as an insult to the presidency.
This follows the confirmation by State House on Monday that the former British Prime minister through his campany TBI will provide technical expertise to State House and Capital Hill n at no cost .
But Malawians have protested vehemently against the decision in various social media platforms, arguing that government neded to implement a competitive procurement process for such an exercise and outline wht TBI was chosen over competitors.
Kajoloweka said this indicates that the President does not believe in the country’s institutions and says it defeats the current goals of Public sector reforms.
“This is an embarrassment , it clearly indicates that the President is not believing in himself.
“We do not need someone to tell us our problems, we know them and we believe this government will do it, unless you tell Malawians that the reforms are not impactful,” said Kajoloweka.
Kajoloweka has further demanded that government should abort with immediate effect the hiring of TBI, saying it is a clear declaration of mediocrity.
The President’s executive assistant Sean Kampondeni said the institute would assist Chakwera’s office to install a delivery unit that will enable him to address capacity deficiencies within the government machinery.
He said ever since Chakwera took office, he and his team have been conducting a full scale assessment of various governance institutions across the State machinery and have determined incompetence issues in multiple institutions.
“There are issues of unprofessionalism, incompetence and people occupying positions they are not qualified for, among others, so one of the things President Chakwera has put on his agenda is to set up a delivery unit that diagnoses capacity deficiencies in the State machinery so that his Cabinet, advisers and staff can address the gaps,” said Kampondeni.
He stressed that Blair has committed to provide the service at no cost to the taxpayer.
“So these people are here committed to assist the country and the President is welcoming any help from any experts who are willing to do so without taking advantage of the taxpayer money and Malawian people. The President is fully persuaded that these people, a team of three, who are currently in the country are committed to assisting him deliver his agenda.
“The institute has not set any agenda and do not decide what the focus of the administration is. It is the President who sets the agenda and engages them to provide specifically those issues which are of value addition to the process that’s being taken,” said Kampondeni.
This is the second time government is engaging the Blair Institute after former President Joyce Banda also engaged it in 2012 to provide a similar service.