Malawi President Peter Mutharika has officially launched the Public Service Reforms programme to set in motion recommendations that have been put in place in order to bring efficacy to public service delivery, saying the public “wants change” which his government will deliver.
Mutharika was speaking Wednesday, February 11 in the capital Lilongwe when he launced the Public Service Reforms programme, one of the electoral promises of his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“Let us accept change, open up our fixed mind set so that we start a new and afresh in rebuilding our nation,” appealed the President.
In June last year, President Mutharika appointed the Public Sector Reforms Commission (PSRC) chaired by Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
Mutharika said the public service is the centre of government operations and plays a key role in the social-economic and social well-being of the country.
“We must, therefore, have a Civil Service that is professional, efficient, and effective and ready to meet current and future challenges of this country,” he said.
“When others say that the private sector is the engine of national development, I say that the Public Service is the oil of the engine that has to be renewed periodically,” the Head of State pointed out.
“And as the Vice Presiden , who is the chairman of Commission has repeatedly said, this time around reforming the Public Service is not a matter of multiple choice. It will be done and it must be done. And it must be done now,” said Mutharika.
The Malawi leader said the reforms will be done “because the public, especially the young generation, wants change – therefore we cannot afford to pass over a country to the new generation when we are resistant to change. So the reforms will be done because the public wants them to be done.”
He said the reforms will be implemented because there is “political will” and quoted Chilima for saying . during consultation meetings, that there is “ an overflow of political will” and Mutharika added that there is “an ocean of political will” to implement the reforms.
The Malawi leader said he is “more than happy” that his government is “ walking the talk and we are on our way of reforming the public service to make it professional, efficient, and effective.”
Mutharika said as part of the implementation of the reforms, government will establish new structures to ensure greater focus on performance and delivery at the highest levels.
“The structures include a Parliamentary Committee on Reforms to enhance parliamentary oversight on reforms on behalf of the electorate. We will also establish a permanent Public Service Reform Commission through appropriate policy and legislative tools,” disclosed Mutharika.
Mutharika also said government will introduce new methods in recruiting Principal Secretaries and those from Grade 5 above “so that they should be going through a competitive promotion system so that we hire the best as opposed to the current system that is deemed not to be objective.”
Political and administration analyst Mustaffa Hussein applauded the process of the reform fact-finding mission, saying it took a good approach in engaging people from various sectors.
Opposition People’s Party (PP) spokesperson Ken Msonda said the idea of civil service reforms was a good one, but he questioned the process, saying there should have been collaborated efforts between the current reforms commission and the old commissions.
During the launch, the President also signed Organizational Performance Agreements (OPAs) with selected ministries including the Ministry of Finance as part of the reforms initiative.
The OPA framework will set out clear steps so that the Civil Service has the capability and capacity to perform at the highest level possible to ensure that civil servants are fully accountable.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :