The Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs has expressed disappointment with delays in the operationalisation of the National Children’s Commission and plans to take to task officers delaying the roll-out.
Committee chairperson Savel Kafwafwa, who is also Dedza North parliamentarian (Malawi Congress Party) said in an interview on Monday that the delay is worrisome because the commission was already allocated K100 million for its operations in the current financial year.
He said: “They have the funding and the law was amended, then what is delaying its operationalisation?
“The committee will, therefore, summon the commissioners to understand if the budget that was allocated to the commission is implementing children-related activities.”
Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Principal Secretary Roselyn Makhumura said plans to operationalise the commission are at an advanced stage.
She said: “The names of commissioners were submitted to the Parliament Appointments Committee last week. And interviews of the commissioners were held, names were submitted to the President for endorsement, and from there, the names were submitted to PAC.
“As you can see, there is a recruitment process to be followed.”
Makhumura assured that the commission should be operationalised by the end of this year.
Government through the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare pledged to operationalise the commission this year after passage of the National Children’s Commission Amendment Bill in April.
The ammendment addressed disparities within some Sections of the National Children’s Commission Act of 2019 on the appointing authority and eligibility of commissioners.
Child rights activists hailed the passage of the Bill, saying it paved the way for the establishment of the commission which will spearhead policies targeting the welfare of children in the country.
The commission, which has been allocated a budget of K100 million in the 2021/22 National Budget, is expected to advise the government on matters relating to children’s rights and welfare, among other functions.