Malawi government has shuffled principal secretaries (PSs) following the retirement of Commissioner for Disaster and PSs in the office of vice president Bernard Sande and secretary for local government and rural development Chris Kang’ombe.
Minister of Information, Jappie Mhango, who is also government spokesman confirmed that the two Principal Secretaries will tired at the end of this month as part of Public Service Reforms recommendation of trimming PSs.
Among other recommendations, the reforms encourage PSs that have reached or about to reach the mandatory retirement age of 60 to retire early as well as a freeze on external recruitment to allow for re-deployment within the system.
Government has moved PS for Energy and Mining Ben Botolo to replace Sande while Stuart Ligomeka who was Chief Director in the ministry of lands has been deployed to be PS of Local Government, replacing Kang’ombe.
At Energy and Mining Ministry, according to Mhango, Botolo will be replaced by James Ali who has been acting as PS at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for almost a year.
“James Ali is leaving Foreign Affairs for Energy ministry as Chief Director,” said Mhango.
In an attempt to reduce the number of PSs, government created the position of chief director to accommodate all individuals occupying positions of PS II and PS III.
In its report, the Public Service Reforms Commission chaired by Vice-President Saulos Chilima made several recommendations after noting that the civil service had 96 PSs against 20 Cabinet portfolios.
Reads the recommendation in part: “The rightsizing in the number of principal secretaries [PSs] by fifty-six  from the current ninety-six  to forty  by deleting irrelevant portfolios, deploying some PSs and exiting those that may not be required within the system.
“A freeze on external recruitment in order to allow for re-deployment in the first phase in order to ensure best fit within the system,” reads part of the reform document.
The commission also recommended that a decent one-off exit package should be offered to PSs and an examination of the entire civil service to determine the total structure and delete all irrelevant positions in order to develop a lean and vibrant organisation.
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