Chakwera breaks the silence on 'MACRA' Dubai trip, speaks tough on abuse of office

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has sent a strong warning against wanton wastefulness of public resources by top officials in the public service.

Chakwera was speaking in direct reference to reports that the board members of Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) flew to Dubai for a capacity building training.

He was speaking on Friday when he presided over the launch of the second phase of the 1 Fibre Backbone, in Lilongwe.

Said the Malawi leader: “As our development partners work hard and work smart to help us build a new Malawi of digital transformation, the last thing we need is to be caught wasting precious resources that are critical for regulating our ICT industry.

Liao Yong (L), President Chakwera (C) and Kazako (R) during the launch

“I was therefore dismayed, Honourable Minister Kazako, by your report of the wasteful spending happening at Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA). 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.

“Last year, I spent endless hours configuring the boards of parastatals, and if any parastatal board chair I appointed at that time thinks that their position is a licence for wanton wastefulness, they better think again. I expect board chairs to be watchdogs against waste, not enablers of it.

“If we are going to make good use of the work and tools we get from our development partners, such as this fibre backbone, then we ourselves need to get serious in this country.

“We need to look around us and see the poverty and suffering of our people so that we can put their needs above our own spending appetites. All of us who have been given a chance to lead, whether in the presidency, or in Cabinet, or in MDAs, or in Boards, or in Embassies, need to behave as though we understand that Malawians have given us this chance to lead so that we can serve them.

“So as far as I am concerned, if you are anywhere in my Administration to serve yourself, you need to get out of the way. If you want kuwadyera a Malawi, the place to do that is not my Administration. My Administration is for servants, not masters.”

Vice President of Huawei Ltd in Southern Africa Region, Liao Yong said the project was expected to connect 29 cities and cover more than 100,000 businesses and homes deepening connectivity and closing the last mile gap in major cities.