PAC Tells Chakwera not to Open Embassy in Jerusalem

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The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has told Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera not to open Malawi Embassy in the holy city of Jerusalem in Israel.

Speaking during the interface meeting with President Chakwera, on 11th December, 2020 at Kamuzu Palace, PAC Chairperson Monsignor Dr Patrick Thawale said the idea of opening Malawi Embassy in Jerusalem has many disadvantages than advantages.

“We are aware that you have professionals who may have made an input in the decision to open an Embassy in Jerusalem . We are further aware that you operate within the framework of African Union Common Position which may have guided you on the intended plans to open an Embassy in Jerusalem. Indeed, several considerations may have been put on the table on the matter after several consultations,”

“However, Your Excellency , we would like to learn from you whether benefits emanating from opening an Embassy in Jerusalem outweigh the risks associated with such a move. By extension, how comprehensive has been the risk analysis in this matter to avoid creating room for insecurity in the Country,” Dr Thawale said.

The PAC Chairperson said Chakwera’s decision to have Malawi Embassy in Jerusalem is wrong.

“Your Excellency, we have our own observation on this matter. You may have good intentions on this issue but we feel that the path you have taken to open Embassy in Jerusalem may not be the right one. We will be educated on the issue since we are here,” he said.

Further Dr Thawale commended Chakwera on the Affordable Input Programme (AIP).

“In a bid to fulfil an electoral pledge to bring in the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP), your Government has indeed set in motion a radical reform of agricultural subsidies in Malawi since the introduction of the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) in 2005/06,”

“Your Excellency, we do welcome reforms your government has embarked on since you assumed office,” he said.

However, Dr Thawale advised Chakwera to take a swift move on dealing with challenges facing the Affordable Input Programme saying that the action is needed now rather than later since the rains already on the ground.

“While mechanisms to deal with the vices have been pronounced through the media, we observe that improvement on the ground is not adequate. Your Excellency, we receive reports from PAC District volunteer structures which still indicate that challenges of corruption and slow delivery of inputs still remain,”

“We would like to learn from you whether the picture we have is the same as you have on the programme,” he said.

Thawale commended Chakwera for the initiative though expensive as others have observed , but on PAC’s part the chaos people observe as they drive along the main roads are of major concern.

“Women, the elderly and those disadvantaged are being witnessed facing various challenges in this programme. We would like to propose that perhaps such programmes must start early before the rains are on the ground in order to realize a meaningful outcome,”

“We therefore urgently call upon your government to put more efforts to deal with the current situation,” Thawale said.