Speaker bemoans implementation of policy document

Lilongwe, Speaker of the National Assembly, Right Honourable Richard Msowoya has described ineffective implementation of some policy documents as a challenge faced by most institutions in the country, saying there is need to deal with the problem if such documents are to bring intended results.

Msowoya made the remarks in Lilongwe on Wednesday during the launch of the Workplace Wellness, Health and Safety Policy for the Parliamentary Service of Malawi.

He observed that Malawians have capacity to develop policies but what is lacking is implementation of the same.

Malawians are known to be good at developing policies which other countries have adopted and implemented successfully.

Our greatest challenge is implementation. It is my hope that activities outlined in the policy will be implemented, he said.

Msowoya said implementation has proved to be difficult, especially where issues of funding are involved.

The Speaker observed that there is need for both, Malawi Parliament and the Secretariat to ensure that activities outlined in the policy are budgeted for and implemented.

Once activities are budgeted for, what remains is implementation and making sure that staff members that are there, the items that they are supposed to use are properly described and properly documented so that they feel the urge to do it, said Msowoya.

He expressed concern that in most cases work of this nature is regarded as out of the normal job description, therefore it is put aside and sometimes not followed up.

Msowoya, therefore called for concerted efforts to ensure what is in the policy and budgeted for is implemented during a particular period. He said the staff should look at that as an added advantage for the wellbeing of working for Parliament.

Despite the implementation challenges, Msowoya described the launch of the policy as a positive step which means Parliament is paying attention to workplace safety and wellness because it adds to people’s productivity and effectiveness.

So, this one is one of those policies Malawi has and our cry is that it should be implemented and not just be put under a drawer and close it.

We shouldn’t allow it to gather dust but allow it to be implemented,’ he said.

The policy is also expected to address issues of work stress which Msowoya said is a catalyst for most of the problems.

He said it is through stress that people suffer in silence because they do not agree with their superiors but at the same time the latter not being able to express themselves on performance of their juniors for several reasons.

This creates a non wellness situation leading to work stress, according to the speaker.

Parliament’s launch of the policy document comes after the institution launched two other strategic policy documents ‘Parliament of Malawi Service Charter’ and ‘Communications Strategy’.

The Workplace Wellness, Health and Safety Policy is a product of consultations with internal and external stakeholders including learning visits to parliaments of Kenya and Namibia and a review of comparative guidelines and policies.

The policy shall apply to Members of Parliament (MPs) and staff, spouses and registered dependants of MPs and staff, temporary staff, interns, consultants and visitors to the precincts of Parliament where applicable among others.

Source: MANA Online