Malawi VP Chilima, private sector in frank talk over reforms

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima on Tuesday engaged the private sector in the commercial capital Blantyre in a frank and straight talk approach as one way of soliciting feedback from the captains of the industry on the public service reforms which he is steering.

Chilima making his points

Chilima making his points

Chilima making his powet-point presentation

Chilima making his powet-point presentation

Chilima addressing captains of the business industry

Chilima addressing captains of the business industry

Chilima assured the private sector that the current efforts to reform the public sector will bear fruits despite several attempts to do so in the past, citing “overflow of political will” this time from the government and President Arthur Peter Mutharika.

The veep and the commissioners engaged the private sector through the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry  (MCCCI) to get feedback on the reforms that the commission announced in December 2014.

“Not changing is not an option. There is clear indication that people want change in the public service. For example we are receiving radical feedback from people out there…like some wanting to have only 18 Principal Secretaries not the 40 we are proposing because we have 18 ministries. This tells us that people out there want change and this is encouraging,” said Chilima.

At the meeting, the Vice President stood for 45 minutes making a power point presentation to the private sector while appealing to them to own the reforms and be part of the process.

“The business of government is not to do business. We want you to come in and own the reforms especially those that are easing the way of doing business. We should not make these reforms a DPP thing but a collective effort with you the private sector being part of it,” he said.

Among other issues, the Vice President spoke of the National Identity scheme which the private sector welcomed, saying it will help the financial sector in identifying customers as well as tracing back those who access loans.

Chilima also shared with the private about the Long Term National Development Plan which will specify the national development agenda so that political parties when they exit and enter government must stick to the plan to ensure continuity.

In his remarks, Chancellor Kaferapanjira of MCCCI hailed the reforms initiative and the strong spirit by the VP and commissioners to ensure delivery this time around.

Kafarapanjira praised the decision to take the private sector on board as well as a number of reforms including the national development plan and the issuance of IDs to Malawians as crucial for the business community.

He however expressed reservations on aligning some offices like the Attorney General to the tenure of the presidency, saying doing so would compromise loyalty and dedication of the appointees.

“Our take is that this will make such positions unstable and loyalty will go to the appointing authority not the people of Malawi,” he said.

The meeting then went into a two hour closed door session where the VP and commissioners further engaged the private sector on a number of concerns and appreciations.

Earlier, Kaferapanjira apologized to the VP on behalf of the business captains who arrived late to the interface. The meeting was scheduled for 8: 30 am, the Vice President arrived at 8: 28 am and waited for close to one hour before everything was set.

The hotel too was caught napping as arrangements had not yet been finalized by 8:30 am.

The Malawi VP is well known for keeping time and has on numerous occasions caused discomfort to organizers after he arrived at the agreed time before they themselves were ready.

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57 thoughts on “Malawi VP Chilima, private sector in frank talk over reforms”

  1. Koma Inu says:

    I totally agree with the truth one from the west. You nailed it straight. The main problem is the political appointment of people to the professional positions. There so many senior public positions filled by people who are not professionals in the fields particularly director and principle secretary positions. These positions need to be filled by qualified professionals in the field they are directing no appointing people because they come from the same area with the vice president or president etc. If the reform does not address this appointment anomaly, we will not yield any good results.

  2. mada nyambo says:

    Chilima thats a way to go.. engaging people in discussions etc. Some may not appreciate it now but they will. We can fail but we will never fail forever.The one who really fails is he who does not try and try again. keep up the good work.

  3. hotlips says:

    Why discuss public service reforms with private sector before you have achieved buy in from the public servants? How will the private sector be of use in these reforms (unless its in strategies in the effeciency of implementing future cashgates?)!

    I rest my case.

  4. Peter says:

    All u guys here makes this very interesting but also very educational especially for me who has been outside Malawi for long and I have just been to MW 3 times the past 2 months and learning and see what’s on the ground is contrary and needs hard work beyond soul,passion as well patriotic then we will see Mw we imagine, otherwise we are just as equal as Somalia not in military war but intellectual war, there is just too much political involvement in developing our our country that’s why it is a disaster in the making for the future.

  5. nachos ale says:

    The suggestion by some commentators to have 18 PSs only is big joke. The proposed 40 is good. I should I agree with those who are also doubting on the reforms. The civil service has become inefficient chifukwa cha ma politicians. They interfere too much. Leave it to work following set rules and regulations you will be surprised. I am a retired civil servant of close to 40 years experience.

  6. Taweni says:

    This reform animal will not work if primitive methods of entrenching politics into Civil Service is going to continue.

    Please free the Civil Service and let only politicians in government be ministers.
    Appoint Permanent Secretaries to head ministries and they should not be transferred at somebody’s will. Each government coming in should find permanent secretaries in civil service.

    This is how a modern govt runs.

    Remember the system was changed in 1994 after multiparty.

    I even wonder that scholars of govt systems are not commenting on this.

    Citizen

  7. Patriot says:

    Baba Civil Service is a mess kwina kuli konse pa dziko lapansi. Azungu analephera reform ndiye uyu Chilimayu….just wasting his time.

  8. The Truthful One from the West says:

    Mr Ziliko you are actually agreeing with me. I am saying that Mr Mangulama never run a Ministry as a PS. In case you do not know a PS running the Ministry of Finance is known as Secretary to the Treasury. Mr Mangulama has never been Secretary to Treasury at any time. As PS for administration in the Ministry of Finance Mr Mangulama was reporting to the Secretary to the Treasury. Mr Mangulama does not have the experience of running a ministry and such a person cannot propose meaningful reforms. As Chilima and the other Commissioners have never worked in the public service they do not have the expertise to reform the public service. What is happening is the same as people who are not trainined as medical doctors diagonising diseases and prescribing medicine. These reforms will weaken the public service rather than strengthen it. DPP has already appointed its supporters into some public service posts and if that is the kind of reforms envisioned then expect no tangible benefits. The decline of public service efficiency has been partly due to the politicisation of the public service which is what the DPP is doing.

    1. ziliko says:

      So only want this commission to have only those who headed ministries and that experience even at PS level should not count? In my opinion this is a well balanced commission.

  9. Mphwache says:

    My biggest problem with Civil Service is its inability to make decisions. You always hear that a decision will be made when Gevernment is ready, but who is Government? I also think the idea of bringing is people from outside, without public service history totally contravenes the idea of having a civil service.

  10. Kipingo says:

    This is the president we want. Someone who let his vice spear head the change.
    Someone who can speak less or not speak at all but do or do more at all.
    Someone who stick to principles even though dogs bark loud.
    And i mean someone indeed who never get shaken when the weather is windy like this.
    One thing i like of this leadership is!
    When its something to do with justice he let the minister of justice speak. When its about finance then you’ll definately see the finance minister’s mouth piece speaking not the HE. What a government.
    Some of these noises will stop. It’s too early guys untill when? See kabwira, who can cry till 2019?

  11. Newx ichocho says:

    Chilima, Peter Boma boma

  12. Kadakwiza says:

    Its good idea to have only 18 Principal Secretaries at the same time all 18 PSs will come from the southern region. So go ahead with your plans. Whatever will be everbody knows its best for central and southern regions respectively. As of now a northerner can only find a job only in private sector. For 50 good years I never heard a northerner being a vice chancellor of. Univesity of Malawi.

    1. golingo says:

      Apa madala mwanama!!! The current vice chancellor is from the north!!!!!! Rubadiri was also once a vice chancellor!! Pro mwanza was the first blackperson as principal chancellor college!!!!!

      Kambani zina bambo!!!!!!

      1. Kenkkk says:

        Also prof Lewis Mughogho wastage first malawian professor. What is vice chancellor, just a ceremonial job!!!

        Kadakwiza, umbuli basi and tribalism yanuyo ikuphani nokha.

  13. gift kaunda says:

    honourable vp.the introduction of identity cards is one major economic reform which previous governments have overlooked simply because they had no idea of the number of benefits it could bring to ordinary malawians.if implimented this could turn out to be the single most important reform malawi has ever experianced in 50years.in south africa,botswana,namibia,zimbabwe,a person without an identity card literally has no basis for better life.easy access to loans,purchase of groceries,clothes,furniture,smart phones all on credit or easy buying terms is achieved by way of having an identity card.eg in south africa one has a luxury to buy a phone worth about 1500rands but pay for it instalments over a period of 12 months.this is because the ID gives the seller the security that the one who bought the phone will not disappear in the event of some issues arising.this can not happen in malawi because business operators fill insecure.here when purchasing goods one has to bleed cash.identity cards will salvage the economy and alleviate peoples economic woes

  14. Odala Ochibwe says:

    Train Them To Be Ready B4 Time.

  15. Parallel Market says:

    Thats welcome VP. Begin by amending the Public Service Act because some amkhala kale m’bomamo who will be affected by these reforms during implementation phase will challenge it in court using clauses in the outdated Public Service Act. Number of PSs must equal number of ministries. Osati tikuziona lerozi ministry imodzi ms PS atatu my foot and we expect the country to develop. Forget it if we cant reform it.

  16. Zagwa says:

    It looks like bwana VP and your commission believe that the major problem with the civil service is the number of PSs. Well since you are welcoming feedback, this is mine bwana: The number of PSs of course impacts on the inefficiencies in the public service BUT obviously the associated remuneration is nothing compared to the wastefulness including pilferage of resources that comes with the many non-professional officers. With your private sector experience, kindly do a functional review first to establish which positions are needed and then from within the service find the suitable people, otherwise get from elsewhere. In any case, most of us are cheating on our ages. Check the records as to when we started work! You will find that I was an extension worker at age 12! As for the positions and people that are non needed, pay them off! Board off all vehicles. Who needs drivers, stenographers and messengers in the 21st century?

  17. Mtupatupa says:

    I dont see any powerful, plan or talk here, talk is cheap, we want tangible results, talk is cheap. Why not engage the judicial striking staff and lay down their plans? Salary harmonisation should not be a scape goat, you cant with hold ones increament becoz you want to harmonise salaries! Are the comodity prices waiting for the harmonization process?

  18. brutsha says:

    Good for keeping time that’s the type of culture we need to inculcate in Malawians . Time is a precious resource. Koma timashalubu kudulira a VP kena kuchita kulozera pa kamwa. China matafale eti! Chinamchina state house siinama. Awa anali bwana ku Airtel koma nkhope sinali yosalala ndi yofufuma choncho. Timadyera limodzi lunch pa Airtel.

  19. OGO!! says:

    Thats why timanena kuti dzikoli likufunika kuyendetsedwa ndi achinyamata.

    Tengani u President achimwene..ena aja angopanga warm up. Khalani phee nkanda woyera muvala pompano.

    Way to go!!

  20. wapano says:

    I think the man is a true Malawian, not wandale. U deserve that position, uncle Saul. Proud to be a Malawian with you as my leader

  21. Mbwenumbwenu says:

    If not mistaken, T I think the post of Chief Imigrations Officer was omitted. I think this post occupied by one Hudson Mankhwala has also to be pinned to presidential term of office. This is my contribution.

  22. Kes munthali says:

    Please also reform our very corrupt, lazy, money Hungary , Un patriotic, PP sympathetic, incompetent judicially. Imagine 7 years sitting on a judgement yet busy demanding and holding the nation to ransom for a VX. A very rotten and shameful institution full of useless goat. Ofunika sesa wa heavy especially ma ringleaders.

  23. The Truthful One from the West says:

    These public service reforms which have not been defined and are being rushed will not yield tangible benefits. It is great mistake for VP to make people believe that reducing the number of PSs to 18 will make Malawi prosper. These reforms are being championed by people who have never been in the civil service. As far as I know Mr Mangulama never run a Ministry as a PS in his entire civil service career. By trying to drastically reduce the number of PSs Chilima is sending a very bad messege that it is no longer worthwhile to work very hard so that one day one can rise to the rank of PS. These reforms will weaken rather than strengthen the public service. Well we have a 20 member cabinet but it is now three months the Judiciary strike is not being resolved and causing immense harm. Why? When did Chilima become a public service expert?

    1. Ziliko says:

      Mangulama was our PS for some years at Ministry of Finance. He was PS for Administration.

  24. Eksodo says:

    Ha ha ha Business captains arriving an hour late for the meeting? Just shows what type of private sector we have where time is not valued.

  25. Chief Zion says:

    Thumbs up to Saulos and am for 30 PSs bcoz aza departments r so huge

  26. pierra says:

    stakeholders are always last to be briefed despite possessing the power to elect the government. in any case, such wide ranging scale down will reveal its downside…some departments carry national security principles that will suffer were leaks start. do not chop for public popularity sake; make sure the system will retain its efficiency and effectiveness!

  27. Namasina says:

    I have serious reservations about the civil service reforms. It seems DPP wants to bring about constitutional reform through the back door – in the guise of civil service reform. DPP wants to entrench power into its hands by creating many offices which will be beholden to the presidency. How on earth does making the post of the Reserve Bank Governor vacant upon election of the president assist with civil service reform? How?

    I would have thought the basic idea behind civil service reform would have been to improve public service delivery? If the private sector can keep the whole Vice President waiting for one hour just imagine what the waiting period is for an ordinary citizen in the real public service like public hospitals, the road traffic directorate, government schools, water boards, escom, police, etc?

    When I go for my motor vehicle CoF it should only take one hour; not one week. That is the essence of civil service reform. If the number of PSs is reduced from 60 to 18 but my CoF still takes one week to come out then there has been no reform. This is why Chilima’s refoms will fail – the focus is numbers or entrenching power, rather than on improving public service delivery for ordinary citizens…

  28. jonah pwele says:

    keep it up

  29. The truth says:

    Malawi’s Uhuru Kenyatta.Young bloodflow

  30. joking samulani says:

    That’s the way to go. This is OUR country Osati tidzingolumana pa zinthu za ziiiiiii. Go ahead Mr Chilima, we are up for the reforms.

  31. Davy Katumbi says:

    It seems chilima(veep) is the only one working up there.

  32. KASIYAMALIRO says:

    Someone is not frank about the National Identification hurdles. Why, again one would ask, has it taken such a long time? Is it true that National Identification is attached to the voting system… that there is no political will and that people would like to cheat during elections and that when the IDs are in place, it might be difficult to cheat? Come on, comrades! This is 2015 and Malawians do not have IDs yet? A ku Mozambique anali pankhondo, koma Pidyeti (spel) ali nayo. Koma aphungu athu akugwiradi ntchito?

  33. yuona says:

    Remember to consider the gross number of presidential advisors and board members. Please be warned that we can not have number of PSs equal to ministries coz some department might suffer in silence.

  34. Bonzo says:

    shame to the hotel; shame to the private sector; good show Mr VP but please also tell your Ministers to always arrive on time!

  35. Young Batile Tikuswera says:

    A very commendable approach to the issue of reforms.

    Kawepano nkhatose.

    Kudos Bwana Chilima.

  36. Kanonono says:

    Now you are talking Chilima

  37. mba says:

    This is a welcome development. However, one thing is clear that some with interests in the current status will want to frustrate the government’s efforts. Therefore, drastic measures must be taken against such individuals mostly those in the high ranking civil service. I do not want to mention names. Be on the look out for such people.

    Those who are not ready for the reform, please leave quietly.

  38. Khalidwe Madeya says:

    Thats the way to go Angoni. Policies need to be at that higher level and not micro-management which is the responsility of Principal Secretaries. Am not for DPP but this is welcome and please keep it up!!

  39. Munyepa Vetekhu says:

    BOMA! BOMA! BOMA! BOMAAAAAAAAAAA!

  40. waliya khale says:

    Chilima you are closer to everyone. Thanks keep on please

  41. Pangani says:

    Bwana do it just now

  42. Myangwe Joe says:

    Thumbs up VP for keeping time during your schedules. I hate people who can not keep time agreements.

  43. padoko says:

    We want to go now give us our packages

  44. Alufeyo says:

    Most of the recommendations are crazy. Positions like ST, Budget Director, DG (MRA)Governor RBM are not political so should not be alignned the presidents term. Ita not possible to have 18 PSs because some depts must have a ps according to the public service act. There are 60 PSs and not 96 as stated. Almost all the tecommendation need further study by well qualified public service/competent consultants. Why has Chilima not engaged PSs in a frank discussion.Rank and position should not be equated to knowledge.

    1. Kenkkk says:

      Departments should have deputy PSs. Only one Ps for each ministry. Otherwise change the Act as part of the reforms.

      I agree on vp engaging the current PSs assuming they are willing to change.

  45. Ps wa nzeru says:

    Mukuchedwa tipatseni zathu tinyamuke bwana. Tatopa nayo nyimbo imodzimo

  46. Koma yes says:

    This is good shit VP. Very encouraging

  47. Sharktus Nangwale says:

    Saulos kawawa…Dude is crafty, smart, and keeps time. DPP woyee, reforms woyee…Ife tonse BOMA!

  48. watchman says:

    Tapanganitu ife ma Ps tilandire zathu tizipita

  49. mjiba says:

    This is a good approach Mr. VP. I will comment on the issue of National Identity Cards for Malawians. For all I know the office of National Registration Bureau which was supposed to handle this issue of National Identity was established a long time back with a sitting Director and Deputy Director and District Registrars in some districts if not all. My question is what has these spoofs been doing in their offices for this now to be part of a reform programme when it should be part of a system of births and death registration which is clearly outlined in our Acts? How come during the short period of elections registration, the Malawi Electoral Commission is able to come up with a system of Identity Cards and issue IDs to Malawians which this stupid Registration Bureau is failing to do for years?

  50. Kenkkk says:

    I welcome the public sector reforms but please go deeper. 40 PSs is too much. If we have 18 ministries, then we should have 18 PSs, period. Even the number of ministries is too much for me.

  51. Malawian says:

    This is good

Comments are closed.