Mutharika accepts to trim presidential powers: Malawi reforms

Malawi Government operations are expected to change for the better following recommendations and subsequent acceptance by President Peter Mutharika to have some of his appointing powers trimmed when appointing senior public officers.

President Mutharika: Gives up some powers

President Mutharika: Gives up some powers

There have been outcries that one of the reasons government operations are compromised is the fact that most officers become bootlickers by wearing ruling party colours in order to protect their positions because they are handpicked to fill the positions.

With the new arrangement, senior public officers including principal secretaries (PS) will be recruited on merit through competitive interviews, a development public administration experts have touted as genuine public reform. S

According to a report in The Nation, President Mutharika has accepted to have his powers reduced on the appointments following recommendations from the Public Services Reform committee headed by Vice President Saulos Chilima.

However, once the president’s decision becomes legal it will be in line with section 4 of the public service Act (1994). Mutharika set up the seven-member committee immediately after taking over government in June 2014 with an aim to make public service operations effective.

Now the appointment of PSs in Grade C and above will be made through a competitive process of advertising and interviewing all applicants, according to sources.

The process would also require the Public Service Commission which is yet to be put in place to conduct interviews in liaison with the Chief Secretary to Government who will then submit final results to the President for the approval.

But the appointment of the officers in grades of deputy director (Grade E) up to director (Grade D) should be done by the Public Service Commission in liaison with PSs and the Chief Secretary to government through a competitive process of advertising openly and selecting suitable candidates.

Currently the president has powers to appoint any person to be PS or director without following any vetting process.

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James Phiri

Powers to hire still vested with President. Too many civil servants have jobs for life whether they perform or not. There’s no mechanism in civil service or parastatals to measure performance or that can lead to someone being fired. We have Cashgate but the Governor of the Reserve Bank is still sitting in his job. Maize rots or goes missing from the food reserve but no one is fired. By the way has the President declared his assets yet?

victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi
victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi

As long as those interviewing are appointed and qualifying people approved by the
president then it is still the political president appointing. It is just ‘reaching Limbe via Henry Chipember Highway and not via Soche’. Nepotism will still be there because the like of ministers like Chaponda will wrongly advise the president. Tribalism and regionalism on promotions and other operations will still be there. May God bring justice , merit and love to mother Malawi.


Different route with same results

Jayilosi Ntedza

that is not a solution because the interview panel will be made up of president’s supporters who would potentially be manipulated by the president to still favor someone! Africans…..kkkkkk


Nothing new here its the still old song. The interview committee should employ and the President be informed that this is what we have come up with period.


mundivomereza, ochititsa interviewwo akhala AHINYA okhaokha zosatira zake zofuna zawo zizikwaniritsidwa. Afunatu the highest office of the president a Hinyawa.


I don’t see any change here to cherish with. Directors for Ministries /CEOs for Parastatals also go through interviews. The list is submitted to the OPC based on merit. But what comes from there is contrary to the opposite. You will find the top two candidates are left out on the basis of political inclination or region/tribe of their original. More need to be done to make the change more vibrant…. otherwise it is just the same old song!


Wy to go Malawi,my country!!!


This is welcome.

Phaghlani Vwavwa
The problem is not Presidential powers, it is a system that we have in this country. There are many zombies in senior positions failing to perform in many government departments and parastatals that were not appointed by the President but were appointed by those close to the president based on affiliations, nepotism, regionalism and tribalism. As a nation we will continue to pay a heavy price for our detest for meritocracy just because it produces results that we do not like. We will never move forward if we do not have quality standards. What is happening at Escom and BWB… Read more »

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