Malawi: Chakwera Says Collaboration Between Pdu and Mdas Is Key to Delivery of Jobs, Wealth and Food Security

18 October 2021

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has said delivery Tonse Alliance government's promises on job creation, inclusive wealth and national food security hinges on collaboration between the newly established Presidential Development Unit (PDU) and government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Chakwera made the remarks when he was launching the Presidential Delivery Laboratory in the Office of the President and Cabinet at the Capital Hill in Lilongwe.

PDU is a special room in the President's office with a team of professionals working to ensure that the key priorities that Chakwera and Vice, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, promised to deliver for Malawians are being implemented by the MDAs that have the mandate and responsibility to do so.

The unit identifies MDAs, which are responsible for implementing key priorities of the Tonse Administration and ensures that those priorities are being delivered on time.

On the other hand, the just launched delivery laboratory is a place where the team from the President's office will work with controlling officers and directors of specific MDAs to make sure that the programs and projects in those MDAs are carrying the goods we promised to deliver to Malawians.

Chakwera announced that he has recruited a team of professionals to execute the lab's mandate; and that, he has appointed Colleen Zamba to lead the team.

"Now that I have completed the work of setting up the PDU in my office, the unit is ready to take on its first assignment, which is to conduct a four-week Delivery Lab, being launched here today. But before this first lab begins, I thought it wise to gather those of you who serve as Controlling Officers and Directors of various Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and explain to you how you can expect the Presidential Delivery Unit to work with you over the course of the next four weeks in which the first Delivery Lab will be taking place here," he said.

Employing a metaphor of a delivery vehicle, Chakwera emphasized that Malawians are waiting for his administration to deliver "the three goods we promised, the three goods being wealth, jobs, and food security."

He said the Malawi Government, which is made up of MDAs, is the vehicle the Tonse Alliance government will use to deliver its promises.

"I, as President, am the driver of this vehicle, and the PDU is the pedal I will use to give direction and acceleration to the car so that the goods are delivered on time. Dr. Chilima, as Vice-President and Minister Responsible for Public Sector Reforms, is the mechanic who travels with me to repair the parts of the vehicle that need to be serviced to prevent breakdowns and accidents," said Chakwera.

He added, "That means that those of you who are Public Servants, especially those of you who are in charge of MDAs, are the conductors of the minibus, and your job is to make sure that the goods we are to deliver are onboard and in good condition. As you all know, it is possible to have a good driver, a good mechanic, and a good minibus, but still fail to deliver the goods we promised Malawians because the conductors failed or forgot to put the goods on the bus or failed to protect the goods from damage, theft, or loss along the way."

He disclosed that in this respect, the PDU and the Public Sector Reforms, being led by Chilima and focus on ensuring that all MDAs are functioning efficiently without the needless bureaucracy and red tape that often hinder progress, are two different sides of the same coin.

Chakwera stressed that as far as Malawians are concerned, the measure of success for him as a driver is not driving the minibus, or the Vice-President as the mechanic fixing the minibus, or MDAs as conductors, but collective performance by all stakeholders.

"I believe this is enough information for you to know what to expect, and at the end of the lab, the nation will be informed of the outcomes of this first lab and what it has delivered for Malawians. This is the new Malawi. So let's get to work," he concluded.

Speaking earlier, Chilima said the delivery labs will help civil servants to map out ways of delivering the national vision.

He said the country's project implementation falls below the expected standards.

"For Tonse to achieve its dreams the government machinery must move efficiently with speed. Success is a choice and that Malawi has today chosen to succeed," said Chilima.

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