Malawi abolish 2nd, 3rd Principal Secretaries – Report

As part of the objective of the Pubic Service Reforms, Malawi government has made structural changes to bring sanity to the system and streamline positions to reduce the number of principal secretaries (PSs) from the previous 96 to at least 40.


Mkondiwa:  Reforms

Chief Secretary to the Government, George Mkondiwa, has informed PSs that that the Peter Muthatika administration has abolished the positions of second or third principal secretaries (PSs) . They will now be known as chief directors.

However, the changes will not translate into savings to the taxpayer in the meantime as the chief directors will continue to get their benefits of 500 litres of fuel and a monthly salary of over K600 000, Weekend Nation reported on Saturday.

“Those who were calling themselves PS2 and PS3 will now be called chief directors. For instance, in the Ministry of Energy, we had a Secretary for Natural Resource, PS for Energy and a PS for Mining and Environmental Affairs. But what we have done now is that we are going to have a Secretary for Natural Resources and Mining then chief director (Energy) and chief director (Environment),” Mkondiwa is quoted saying.

The bloated number of PSs has been cited as one of the major causes of public service inefficiencies and a drain on public resources.

According to the newspaper report, Ministry of Education, will have a Secretary for Education then chief director (Higher Education) then chief director (Basic Education) while the Ministry of Health will have chief director (Administration) and chief director (Health Services).

Mkondiwa explained: “The controlling officer is the one who will be called the principal secretary. So, you will not have a situation where one ministry has a thousand PSs because it is structurally wrong. For the time being, these will continue getting their perks at the PS level but eventually when we continue reviewing the system there is going to be a difference between the PS and chief director in terms of packages.”

Mkondiwa described the development as a “stop-gap measure.”

T he Chief Secretary said: “ Ideally we should have one PS and then others should be technical directors but because we already have these people at PS level we need to find a way, under the reforms programme, to enhance productivity by appointing somebody to be in charge of a ministry not three people being in charge.”

The paper noted that before this development, Ministry of Labour had two PSs, one of whom was the Secretary for Labour Patrick Kabambe and the other, PS II, who was Olive Chikankheni; Ministry of Information had three PSs—Secretary for Information, Tourism and Culture who was Chimwemwe Banda then PS for Tourism and Culture then PS for E-Government.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ministry of Youth and Sports Development had two PSs each while the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security had three PSs, including one for National Registration Bureau.


Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

72 thoughts on “Malawi abolish 2nd, 3rd Principal Secretaries – Report”

  1. Tsokaliyenda says:

    Mu civil service munali anthu ngati Harrison Mandindi (Director Of Trade) mdala wamzeru ndi mzake Newby Kumwembe. Ma cariber eni eni a u PS osati enawa ansaaaaah

  2. Mzee says:

    There is nothing wrong with Mkondiwa being retained as CS. In addition there are PSs who are real PS material and thier understanding of the public service is very important. I am surprised that some gruntled PSs are trying to use age as a criterion for removing PSs. Of the lot its people like Mwadiwa, Sande, Msosa who should be PSs the rest can go. Fortunately govt has been very good by making sure the Chief Directors retain their perks. Some of the promotions to PS were scandalous. Government must stick to regulations on promotions so that people understand the Civil service. Only in exceptional cases should one jump grades (exceptional performance must be the yardstick). Less than 14 PSs today understand the civil service. Unfortunately they grew in the administration common service and HRM and a few Treasury. Malawi cannot afford to willy nilly temove experienced PSs just to retain toddlers who confuse democracy with chaos. Some of the people mentioned as meriting exit as they have less than 5 years are the bedrock of the Malawi Civil Service. I would love if these people were put on TV you would be shocked at their knowledge. We only need political will. To the Chief Directors i say congratulations

  3. National Patriot says:

    A dangerous term – Chief Director has been introduced into the service. This is a cut and paste thing from India or South Africa. Surely you do not have a chief director without a principal and senior director below Indian style. Watch how big the civil service will bloat when they start putting their hench-people in the system.

  4. njati says:

    This is now a government in reverse gear. You don’t introduce a reform measure because u want want to deal with a specific situation. If the president approved that Dr Kainja in Min of Gender should be PS, you should not have introduced this unnecessary layer that will even call for additional funding just to deal with a single case. If you wanted to bring efficient in civil service management, you should have done the following:

    1. Let the Chief Secretary who has retired now and has been given a three year contract be redeployed to foreign service to finish the new contract. This is to bring efficiency and effectiveness in decision making at that level. A poor case of decision making is what has happened now.

    2. All PSs who have less than 10 years should be retired and given their retirement package. eg PS Kang’ombe in Local Government, PS Magwira in Health, PS Luhanga in Lands, PS Kang’ombe in Justice, PS Madula in Sports; Comptroller of Statutory Corporations Mr Chikhosi, Controller of Government Stores, PS for National Registration Bureau, PS Mwadiwa, PS Kaphaizi, PS Dr Shaba, PS Chisamile Home Affairs, PS Msosa, PS Education and many more.

    3. Contracts for all PSs who came from else where be terminated or not renewed again. Eg PS Chimwemwe Banda, PS for Safe mother hood, PS Chipungu, PS Mwandidya, PS Ben Phiri.

    4. PSs on secondment should sent back to their original institutions. Eg Secretary to the Treasury Mr Mangani, The new Accountant General Mr Matambo.

    5. Freeze recruitment of new PSS. Replace where death or attrition for other reasons gave occurred.

    This simple analysis gives me 22 PSs. The current approach has not been objective and leaves a lot to be desired. It has frustrated those being demoted as well as the directors who thought one day they will be PSs, now they have to dream of being Chief Director before becoming PS.

    This simpl

  5. Sautso Nkolimbo says:

    But ku Education kuli department ina pa City Centre yomwe mtsogoleri wake has overstayed on his position, it is just his farm now. More than 10 years. Some of his staff have recently either retired or left for other ministries. I doubt if the ones remaining are to stay. Please investigate on this otherwise we are not going to achieve meaningful reforms.

  6. Tengupenya says:

    Comment 60: the differentiation of PS and Chief Directors perks will mean more to the PS and more charge to the treasury. U don’t expect the chief directors to accept lesser perks.

  7. vavlov says:

    This reform is a mere window dressing, with no savings on the tax payers’ money. The civil service remains bloted what has changed is simply change of titles with same benefits. What a waste of time, and tax payers money

  8. bottomani says:

    Babylon must fall. Now now now.

  9. Bob says:

    Retire those that are due other than creating other posts like Chief Directors. Departments already have their own directors and these chief whatever will only complicate things since they are not technocrats in line departments.

  10. Joseph Moyo says:

    ndmamvetsa chifukwa chomwe timalepherea mayeso.director nzofanana?koma amalawi ndwovuta eeeee.

  11. Dear Stan says:

    Malawians are becoming more paranoia each passing day,a lot of critics here are showing their poor reading skills and hateful nature.
    It’s more than just a title change here,read again properly,the Chief Secretary is saying this is a process and the first step is to change titles later on their benefits and packages will also be different,its a gradual process.please get a life

  12. Ineyo says:

    Had the government said these are the first and last chief directors, there would’ve been hope of savings in future

  13. Gopaninji says:

    You are busy filling overhead positions instead of attending to salary adjustments and filling of massive vacancies in technical or operative positions eg teachers, surveyors, extension workers, nurses, labour inspectors etc. White elephant reforms these are!

  14. Nathan says:

    No, the government has not abolished PS2 and PS3. The names have only been changed from 2nd and 3rd Principal Secretaries to Chief Director. They are going to receive the same salaries and benefits. Can this be called a reform? Umbuli, chani? Tikamati zili mu bomazi ndi mbuli, mwawona zikungosintha mayina nkumati zapanga reform! Bolani a Tcheya omwe analonjeza kuti amanga ma Secondary School ambiri koma anangosintha ma MCDE kukha ma Community Day Secondary School.

  15. aunt says:

    Retirement for the older PSs is better than humiliating them like this. Please some one to the rescue.

  16. John says:


  17. kambwali says:

    So this reform is all about positional names

  18. MULOPWANA says:


  19. The mess created by Bakili Muluzi. Putting three CEOs in one place. Why should a dead ministry like labour have two CEOs? On top of that there is a minister. We waste money for nothing. The 500 litres of fuel are exchanged for cash at filling station. The mentaliity of stealing is still in the civil service. This must be checked. We can’t be paying taxes to be wasted or stolen through cashgate.

  20. Tengupenya says:

    First, congratulation for at least putting one person as the overall controlling officer. There is not much difference in terms of saving money for the tax payer if the chief directors retain the perks of the PS. But a forward looking position is to establish whether the additional layer of directors (posts of chief directors) are really necessary and wealth the cost. In learning organization, posts are not retained during reforms for the sake of individuals. The organizations manage the change by retraining or reassigning superfluous personnel to other function. If needed, retirement or some sort of separation is used in various modes, including voluntary separation with appropriate packages. Look the affected personnel have to be treated fairly, but sensibly to both the organization and the person. The mid ground is to go for early retirement for the affected personnel that cannot retrain for reassignment to other functions.

  21. Wapaphata says:

    Thank you vp thank you chief secretary we anxiously waited fir this moment. .for example chimwemwe banda ps 3 ku health sanali without portfolio? Dpp tiye nawo ma reforms

  22. Dwambazi says:

    Mr Nkondiwa you have just insulted my intelligence

  23. Makwasa says:

    A wolf in a different skin…..who are you fooling.

  24. tadala says:

    abolished koma kumalandilabe ndalama renamed bola

  25. chiotha says:

    Chief director nde chani?

  26. chindere says:

    Same difference. Same bloated and inefficient bureaucracy. Just a bunch of fat bloodsucking parasites.

  27. mjiba says:

    for starters get rid of all the crap that is a PS and is implicated in cashgate. retire them and abolish those positions if they are duplicating posts. then look back to all the PS who have been promoted during the last ten years and start from there thrashing a lot of garbage good luck if you are going to walk the talk arsehall

  28. John says:


  29. John says:



  30. ma says:

    What surprises me is that the perks of the CDs won’t change. So no savings really.

  31. Likoma Economist says:

    The Malawian Civil Service is simply organised insanity!

  32. Sapitwa kakulanye says:

    It is too late but better than never.Also look into so called Director of Finance and Administration (DFA), what does the person in this position do? There is more money to ministries than technical departments who do the actual work on the ground. Even promotions are more for people in support services than technical personnel. Malawi might have problems when it comes to development because wrong people are rewarded. Government should take a bold stand to reduce the administrative structure of ministries which is top heavy now or forget any tangible change.

  33. James Phiri says:

    Government kapena kuti civil service is Malawi problem number one. Cashgate is not a political problem. It’s from the civil service. Accountability is zero. Professionalism died with Kamuzu Ngwazi. If I were VP Chilima I would fire all civil servants and start afresh. Reforms should shake the foundation and the roof. No cosmetics abwana.

  34. Joseph says:

    Koma chizungu pa Malawi ndiye chimativutadi ey.
    Firstly, its “public” osati “pubic”. PUBIC nkutukwana!!!
    Secondly, how can you use the word “abolish” to mean just a change of name from PSs to something else with all benefits and dogs allowances intact?
    The amount of mediocrity we Malawians smile at and entertain baffles the life out of me!!!!!!

  35. Chikadza Kuwani says:

    This is not Mbatata but Gunya sasenda is there any meaning in that?

  36. Ogundipe says:

    I see nothing substantial in this development. The Chief Secretary and his team are chickening out of the real reforms. We have been made to believe thatI the reforms will bring about efficiency of the civil service.

    The arrangement of having PSI and PSII or PSIII is not different from the proposed arrangement of Chief Director. PSII or PSII are not controlling officers. The powers in the ministry were still under PSI. What i see is that you are playing the same game with different players (names).

    By the way the issue being illustrated by the Chief Secretary is way below issues that a chief secretary was supposed to be clarifying. A PRO in OPC could have handled this matter rather than the whole office of the Chief Secretary. That shows how empty his plate is.

    We seem to have adopted the word reform without understanding what it means and developing the right institution culture that will support the proposed reform. I foresee doom just as we have had from the Structural Adjustment Programmes. Even the Chief Secretary has limited understudying of the concept of reforms which is being advanced,

    Malawi will remain the same as long as we have the same people running its affairs.

  37. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    uku nde kuba kweni kweni uku. lets hope the savings from this action will not go into your pockets as we all know Malwi’s politicians are very tricky, especially those in DPP gaffment, kusolola too much!!!!!!

  38. kadamanja says:

    Mutu nge ntchakuwaja Mkondiwa

  39. titus Scoti says:

    Looking forward to knowing their job description as Chief Directors. Otherwise, what’s in the name?

  40. anadimba says:

    asintha ndi mainawa eti? Koma kudya kwake chimodzimodzi. Mafuta malitres angati?nanga salary?koma yaaaaaaaaaa

  41. Chimani. Game says:


  42. maya says:

    Nonsense. If reforms are failing to implement just say so if you failed to reduce the number of PSs to make savings. Indeed PSs and CDs erning are the same and any effort to differentiate the perks in favour of PSs will result in blolted wage bill instead of a reduction. Chilima has the gutts but this is clear resistance to change on the part of implementers. The best way is create a one-off attractive retirement package! Mind you this way results in extended civil service structure from 18 positions to 19!

  43. Mseu Waboma says:

    Members of the public do not deal with PSs; they deal with much lower level civil servants. When are the reforms going to reach these cadres of civil servants?

    Generally in Government the more senior the position the higher the sense of responsibility and productivity. Focusing only on “reforming” senior positions will ultimately save money for the government, but it will not improve productivity. The clerks who come late to work and leave early while having spent their short time at work playing bawo, reading newspapers and drinking tea are actually more in need of reforming than their bosses. Chilima needs to ask himself a basic question: Is he interested in reducing expenditure on the civil service or improving its efficiency? The two things are not necessarily the same…

  44. Za ziiii. The civil service needs people who can work. There is a lot of laziness. Workers report to work when they want and knock off as they wish.

  45. Zanako says:

    I thought its going to reduce on the expenses but if not what then????

  46. Professor Mtumbo Wapsa says:

    Wawa bwana Maweru. Chief Director?

  47. Wangandiyemweyo says:

    Looks like a good start. However, we shall be in a position to tell how helpful it really is once the mathematics has been done and the differences in remuneration are set. I hope that this is only a beginning, and that such duplications will continue to be eliminated throughout the entire hierarchy of the public service.

  48. myao says:

    Nkuluyu ali pa pix akanakhala policeman

  49. Nthumbetupe says:

    This country is indeed run by a group of mediocres. The other day Saulos Chilima was telling the nation that under the reforms numbers of PSs had been reduced from 92 to 41. A criminal lie and a shame for someone tasked to champion reforms to proclaim from rooftops. Mr. Chilima knew he was lying to the nation because no PS has been taken out of the system as a result of reforms. Since the commencement of reforms nothing has happened except knocking off time 4.30 pm. PSs who have exited the system like Senzani, Kantchentche, Samute and may be few others it’s been because of other reasons. If the reform champion begins to lie you know the program is crumbling. How on earth can one justify such a misrepresentation knowing fully well that facts on the ground don’t support the reform outcome. Today we hear another George Mkondiwa’s craziest idea. Where is this country heading to? The majority of PS2s were at many points in were controlling officers the likes of Kaphaizi, Mwadiwa, Kumwembe, Maweru, Mtupanyama and others how they become chief directors a junior to controlling officer. They became PS2s because of political imperatives and legimately a title of chief director will be a demotion. What will change of title bring to the operations of the service apart from demolarizing these fellows. In any case their employment conditions remain the same meaning they will still remain positioned as PS2s. The truth is reforms that seek to maintain the status quo always fail. Without causalities there can never be successful reforms…..take it leave

  50. Mr condom,yes that's me Mr condom says:

    this country could have been much better if Chilima was the actual President

  51. MaiMai says:

    If it won’t translate into cash savings, then you are just wasting your time. Same thing your president did, few ministers but 1000 advidors …idiots

  52. chepetsani says:

    500 liters a month? Is it not too much? They use it personally. TO GIRL FRIENDS.

  53. Joy Mtika says:

    There is no reform here as long as they will still be getting the same packages

  54. Aniche says:

    THERE IS NOTHING HERE THAT HAS IMPROVED, WE ARE FOR IMPROVEMENT BUT IF THESE PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE TO GET THEIR OLD PACKAGES WHAT HAS CHANGED, WHAT IS THE REFORM HERE CHILIMA? But junior officers will be chopped, you will see. Mkondiwa is not courageous enough to remove fellow PSes but he will remove those whose packages make no difference whether they are there or not, thats Malawi.

  55. Playing with semantics and nothing new here.Why not reduce fuel and other allowances by 25%?Only the titles have changed but same conditions;is that change?

  56. Mphongozidana Ndau says:

    The positions of the PSs were increased deliberately just to appease some home boys. Now you have seen that it is unsustainable, you have decided to go back.

    There is no need to retain those that have been removed from PS positions. Let each ministry have one PS and the rest should be directors. Malawi should stop wasting money as if it is a rich country.

  57. Goviva says:

    This is a good idea for as long as it remains an interim measure. Should this arrangement continue for 2 years or more, you will be creating more problems especially for the junior officers. Have a plan in place that allows you to retire the PS in phases. The longer you keep them, (most of them deadwood by the way) the less motivated others below will be. Start with those that have less than 5 years to go before they retire and are willing to go next year. Include their figure in the next budget. Then replace them with new PS who would have undergone interviews followed by training. Then those that will not make it, give them a chance to retire. Remember this will be after two years. I dont see why or how 90 people should give the whole Government a headache. Phase the process damn it!!

  58. Butt why on earth a PS should get 2 & half drums of fuel per moth????? Most of the good cars SUVs have got a capacity of around 80litre tank so why 500???? And these are supposed to be working in the offices. Plundering government resources.

  59. mtima wa nyani says:

    kungosintha ps to chifi director, nde mwaseva caani, za ku fwede

  60. Dickson Chonongera says:

    Ok. Tamva.

  61. Peter says:

    Kudos to government this is the seriuos reform people want to see hope people will be supportive governemnt need to save money and work than pleasing individulals …i know not ALL WILL BE HAPPY but this is the way to go….APM,VP Chilima and Mondiwa continue do the needful like this for the benefit of all malawians than the few….this is civil service reform at best

  62. Zoonazake says:

    Palibe chanzeru pamenepa, inenso ndangowononga nthawi yanga umacomenter zinthu zopanda nzeru ankadangoleka

  63. Masoambeta says:

    Useless government. Nchifukwa chabe munabela chisankho.

  64. Minofu Jekete says:

    This looks good as a reform on paper but not a saving to the taxpayer since the Chief Directors will continue getting their salaries and packages. I think what the tax papers are waiting are real reforms that will result into real saving because the government we are told has no money.

    One reform that we need is that of removing vehicles in the ministries. Let PSs and Directors be given loans to purchase their own vehicles and Ministries keep a pool of vehicles for local running. For long distance travels, the Ministry could car hire. This is the Rwanda Model. Official travel of the PSs and Chief Directors should be done using their own vehicles. Mr. Mkondiwa, can you please do this. This will save money for Government and do more to develop the country. I wish we could talk. The Chief Directors should not be on those fat salaries. One should look at this carefully. How come the civil service is more lucrative than the private sector, this is because of the fat salaries when in fact Government has no money. Please let us cut spending and use money to develop the country. Let me hear what others say about this.

    1. Sapitwa kakulanye says:

      Minofu Jakete, I don’t agree that salaries are better in civil service than private sector. Your other proposals sound good but government should not just copy what Rwanda is doing. We are a different country. We can learn something from them.

  65. Mr.Bambo says:

    Semantics at play here!!!!

  66. Njira zobera ndalama zimenezo

  67. Emma says:

    That’s good move,

  68. Reformist says:

    Chief Director? This is not the transformative change that we are looking dor. Deletw the positions altogether instead of maintaining the status quo through putting labels on the same old jars of expired honey bottles merely because we love to see them on the shop shelves.

  69. MTCHONA says:


Comments are closed.