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2.1 Aspirations on Good Governance

Malawians aspire to be united, secure and democratically nature with socioeconomic development spread to all parts of the country.

The Government will operate in an environment of transparency, accountability and rule of law. There will be effective participation of all citizens in the governing of the country coupled with clear separation of powers between the three branches of government: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The Government will operate according to the principle of merit in all public appointments.

Malawians, fully recognizing the fact that good governance is not only confined to the public sector, but also the private sector and civil society, will be fully aware of their civil and human rights as well as responsibilities and obligations to society. There will be protection of human rights and freedoms to internationally acceptable standards. The country will be led by foresighted leaders within the confines of a constitution that reflects the wishes, values and needs of the people. The country will achieve enhanced capabilities in political and strategic studies.

2.2 Strategic Challenges and Options

To meet the above aspirations the following strategic issues or challenges need to be dealt with:

  1. enhancing national unity;
  2. making Malawians aware of their civil and human rights and responsibilities;
  3. improving and sustaining the rule of law and respect for human rights;
  4. enhancing the role and performance of the public sector;
  5. creating an enabling environment for private enterprise,
  6. enhancing the separation of powers, checks and balances of the three branches of government;
  7. encouraging political participation by the general populace;
  8. nurturing and appointing foresighted leaders;
  9. improving internal security; and
  10. creating capacity in political and strategic studies.
2.2.1 Enhancing National Unity Strategic Challenge
There is a general perception of the country being divided along regional and tribal lines owing partly to regional disparities in development. The challenge, therefore, is to find ways of addressing the perception of disunity and ensuring regional balance in development. Strategic Options
Options for enhancing national unity and social cohesion include:

  1. targeting families, households, villages, districts and the nation as a whole with civic education and awareness campaigns that enhance national unity;
  2. defining and promoting national identity and national symbols;
  3. building national political institutions;
  4. strengthening patriotism through civic awareness and youth training programmes;
  5. encouraging cultural or tribal interaction through exchange visits, national days and cultural shows;
  6. reducing imbalances in development through regional planning;
  7. selecting pupils to secondary without basing on district of origin;
  8. encouraging political parties to formulate specific ideologies with which they can be identified and enable the electorate to vote on the basis of issues rather than region.
2.2.2 Enhancing and Sustaining Political Participation by the General Populace Strategic Challenge
There is a problem of weakening political participation by the general populace, which is evidenced partly by voter apathy. Participation is inhibited by illiteracy, poverty and other social factors. The legacy of oppressive political regime of the first three decades of independent Malawi has contributed to this situation. The challenge therefore is how to make people aware of their participation in the political process.

2.2.2 Strategic Options

Political participation can be enhanced and sustained through:

  1. developing mass membership political parties and intensifying their activities;
  2. creating mass movements for children and teenagers to enhance their political socialization process;
  3. forming groups or fora where local people can communicate their views on public issues and exert pressure on decision makers;
  4. reviewing the Constitution to enable recall of political leaders who are unproductive;
  5. consulting the youth and other stakeholders in the formulation of policies;
  6. creating an environment conducive to increased participation of women in politics;
  7. decentralizing functions and devolving powers to local communities; and
  8. ensuring that chiefs participate in policy making and governance.
2.2.3 Improving Internal Security Strategic Challenge
There is increasing crime rate in Malawi, which is creating feelings of insecurity. It is constraining people from enjoying their democratic rights, and scares away local and foreign investors. The security institutions are ineffective and have inadequate resources to fulfil their functions. In some cases the law is lenient on offenders while in other cases the law is interpreted and applied leniently. The challenge, therefore, is to ensure the safety of all the people and their property. Strategic Options
To improve internal security, the options include:

  1. reviewing laws, toughening penalties and their enforcement, as well as intensifying policing with community involvement;
  2. proper screening of asylum seekers and other aliens to prevent entry into the country of illegal arms and criminals;
  3. implementing better human resources training and management;
  4. reviewing incentives for security personnel regularly;
  5. providing more and better equipment for security institutions;
  6. increasing vigilance in the legal and security institutions;
  7. clarifying guidelines and properly scrutinizing the circumstances for granting of bail; and
  8. increasing opportunities for gainful employment.
2.2.4 Increasing Awareness of Human Rights and Civic Responsibilities Strategic Challenges
Malawians are generally unaware of the rights provided for in the constitution. They have also generally interpreted the democratic system as rights to disrespect laws, rules, traditions, and to mean they have no responsibilities or obligations to society.

The challenge is to make Malawians understand and appreciate the Constitution and the rights and responsibilities contained therein; improving reporting systems; and prosecuting cases where other people's rights have been infringed upon and the rule of law has not been respected. Strategic Options

Options for increasing awareness of human rights and civic responsibilities include:

  1. promoting the independence and responsibility of mass media institutions so that they can report on cases of breaking the law;
  2. intensifying civic education and school curricula on rights, responsibilities and respect for the law;
  3. increasing access to legal aid;
  4. undertaking legal reforms to enhance the protection of rights;
  5. respecting customary or traditional laws where necessary; and
  6. re-introducing traditional courts at chieftainship levels.
2.2.5 Enhancing and Sustaining the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights Strategic Challenge
The rule of law and respect for human rights are basic foundations of Malawi's democratic system. However, there is currently widespread, misunderstanding of the meaning of democracy and human rights.

The challenge is how to ensure that laws and human rights are respected by all and serve as the basis for democratic behaviour.

The challenge also lies in increasing resources for legal aid activities to make legal advice available to the public and in assisting paralegal NGOs, which provide civic education.

2.2.5 2 Strategic Options
The following are options for enhancing and sustaining rule of law and respect for human rights:

  1. enhancing civic education on women and the law in Malawi;
  2. providing law texts in educational institutions;
  3. training lay-magistrates in issues of law and human rights;
  4. strengthening institutions that deal with law and human rights;
  5. speeding up legal reform and strategies for implementation of these reforms;
  6. stepping up the training of lawyers in case work and reorganizing the Ministry of Justice; and
  7. reconciling customary law with written law.
2.2.6 Promotion of Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances Strategic Challenge
The maturity of the democratic process depends, in large part, on the separation of powers, checks and balances of the three branches of government. It is perceived that the various branches of government sometimes interfere in each other's roles.

The challenge is to promote separation of powers and checks and balances between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the government. Strategic Options
Options for promoting the separation of powers, checks and balances include:

  1. making leaders in all the three branches of government aware of their respective roles;
  2. instituting transparent and merit based criteria for recruitment; removal and evaluation of personnel in the judiciary; and
  3. providing more resources and training to increase the professional and administrative capacities of judicial personnel.
2.2.7 Attaining Accountability and a Corruption Free Society Strategic Challenge
There is a general feeling that corruption is rampant in work places both private and public, and leaders are not accountable in the use of resources and in decision-making.

The challenge is to eradicate corruption and attain accountability in decision-making. Other challenges include making the populace aware of the advantages of accountability and disadvantages of corruption; and exposing and punishing offenders accordingly. Strategic Options
The options available to attain accountability and reduce corruption include:

  1. introducing more effective budgetary procedures;
  2. intensifying internal audit and methods of monitoring the use of resources;
  3. strengthening the capacities for and tightening the rules of operation of the Auditor General, the Treasury, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Public Accounts Committee;
  4. appointment of personnel to these institutions basing on merit;
  5. sensitizing people to the costs of corruption and creating a culture that is hostile to and exposes corruption;
  6. instituting tight and transparent materials and equipment procurement procedures; and
  7. protecting and rewarding those who expose corruption.
2.2.8 Improving the Role and Performance of the Public Sector Strategic Challenge
The public service in Malawi is generally weak, inefficient and lacks client orientation in delivering services. It also lacks transparency and is slow in facilitating private sector development. Public administration is generally poor and this is worsened by dysfunctional political influence on the civil service.

The major challenge for improving the performance of the public sector is to make it strong, efficient, pro-active, impartial and non-partisan.

2.2. 8.2 Strategic Options
Strategic options to improving the role and performance of the public sector include:

  1. rationalizing the civil service to remove among other things overlaps in departmental and ministerial functions as well as removing ghost workers;
  2. continuing with privatization of some public functions;
  3. decentralization of some activities;
  4. applying of modem management skills to improve decision making;
  5. recruiting and promoting personnel based on merit; and
  6. developing client/customer orientation.
2.2.9 Encouraging the Spirit of National Service and Self-Help

2.2.91 Strategic Challenge
The major obstacles to enhancing the spirit of national service and self-help include people's wrong perception of national service and self-help as enslavement; low education; and political leaders making promises of government's providence.

There is weak local government and community participation in programme formulation and implementation. This is caused by such factors as general apathy and lack of motivation by Malawians, to take charge of their individual and collective destiny; over-centralization of government functions; high illiteracy rates; low civic awareness; and dependence on government for the provision of goods and services.

The challenge is to make Malawians appreciate the need and importance of national service and self-help and to make them act and balance in ways that promote these values. Strategic Options
Options available include:

  1. encouraging those with special skiffs, for example lecturers, engineers, and others to reserve a few days in a month for national service;
  2. creating programmes aimed at encouraging to developing the country;
  3. encouraging the youth to engage in national service at college and secondary school levels through programmes such as Boys/Girls scouts, summer camps and others; and
  4. promoting voluntary social service associations and organizations.
2.2.10 Creating Capacity in Political and Strategic-Studies Strategic Challenge
Strategic planning and management of a country's socioeconomic development is essential for progress. Malawi lacks adequate capacity in conducting political and strategic studies. Many decision-makers are not fully utilizing available expert knowledge for policy formulation and implementation. Furthermore, Malawi's foreign policies and relations with other states or actors in the international arena should be a result of strategic studies and strategic thinking about what is in the best interest of the country.

The major challenge to creating capacity in political and strategic studies is limited resources; little appreciation of the need for strategic studies; and lack of institutional set up for doing and utilizing strategic thinking. Strategic Options
The following options could be used to enhance capabilities for strategic studies:

  1. establishing institutions to conduct strategic studies and enhancing the capabilities of existing ones;
  2. developing awareness and giving clear encouragement to organizations and institutions to adopt strategic thinking and planning in their daily operations;
  3. ensuring that government relies on centers of strategic studies to monitor, evaluate and spur implementation of the Vision.
2.2.11 Nurturing and Choosing Foresighted Leaders Strategic Challenge
It is important for a society to be led by foresighted and committed leaders at all levels of society. The challenge is therefore to identify, recruit, support such leaders and provide civic education for enhancing the capability of the electorate to choose heir leaders wisely. Strategic Options
Strategic options include:

  1. appointing or electing visionary/charismatic/foresighted leaders;
  2. appointing leaders basing on qualifications and merit and where necessary subjecting hem to public scrutiny before taking office;
  3. respecting opposition views to avoid "brain rain" of foresighted dissenters;
  4. training Future Leaders in strategic studies should be strengthened;
  5. intensify civic education that can promote the election of foresighted leaders.
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