President Lazarus Chakwera has, once again, delegated the task to bring the long-awaited reforms to the public sector arena to his second-in-command, Saulos Klaus Chilima, as he raised to the occassion to act against maladministration of COVID-19 funds.
The President – who has since fired Department of Disaster Management (DoDMA) Commissioner James Chiusiwa and COVID-19 Presidential Taskforce Co-Chair Dr. John Phuka from their respective roles- has directed that the Vice must lead a reforms committee to deal with long-standing systemic issues in the civil service.
The key reform areas are centred on efficiency, proper recruitment and human resource mobilisation, curbing corruption and allowance syndrome.
Speaking in his Sunday address on COVID-19 status in the country, Dr. Chakwera lamented the growing connivance between public officers and some private sector players to swindle taxpayer’s money.
He lamented expenditure of resources without proper documentation as required.
According to the President, all cluster heads but one submitted reports without backing documents.
Said the President:
“I am therefore delegating to the Vice-President, Right Honorable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, in his capacity as Minister of Public Sector Reforms, together with a special Taskforce he will form in consultation with me, to begin and prioritize a review of these three government systems and submit recommendations for their overhaul to my office within three months.”
The Malawi leader said the Chilima and colleagues must make recommendations including any legislative changes that must be made in the country’s laws at one of the sittings of Parliament this year.
“This will ensure that our laws protect the interests and resources of the public, not the rubble of public servants who use broken systems to loot and use bad laws and contracts to keep their jobs in the system and keep looting,” added President Chakwera.
Chilima has held the role of reforms in the civil service since his first tenure as Vice President under the leadership of Peter Mutharika.
The reform process was marred by politicking and resistance from within the system.
Until recently, Chilima was sweeping reforms across parastatals.
In an unprecedented move towards enhanced oversight, bodies such as the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), the Office of the Ombudsman and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will now be part of those managing COVID-19 fight.
President Chakwera has warned more heads are scheduled to roll in due course as investigations in relation to the expenditure of the K6.2 billion and K 17 billion COVID-19 funds continue respectively.
Just a bit of what he said here.