Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima today engaged the top management of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) led by its Chairman Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale on public sector reforms.
Chilima who is also the Minister responsible for Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms wanted to learn about the reforms they are undertaking to ensure that future elections are conducted in an efficient and professional manner.
According to Veep, the bedrock of the reforms at MEC are electoral (legal) reforms and institutional and the presentation by the MEC chairperson was both comprehensive and insightful and once implemented, the reforms will radically change the way elections are conducted in this country.
“For instance, apart from proposed harmonization of electoral laws and legislating the consequential directions given by the High Court in the Presidential election nullification case, MEC is working on legal reforms that would lead to the commission’s operational independence and financial autonomy as well as provide clarity on appointment or removal of Commissioners,”
“I was particularly interested in the reform area to automate some of MEC’s core electoral activities as this would eventually lead to creation of voting or voter registration systems that are efficient, effective and foolproof,” he says.
Chilima says he has committed support to the proposal to relocate the commission’s head office from Blantyre to Lilongwe as this would reduce operational costs by 30 percent.
“To this end, I have requested for a cost-benefit analysis in addition to a roadmap clearly stating timelines, budgets and specific individuals to drive particular reform areas,” Chilima says.
Vice President Saulos Chilima also met officials from the Local Government Accountability Programme (LGAP) on their mandate and how LGAP fits into the reforms agenda that the current administration has revived.