Mutharika restructures Office of President and Cabinet

 Malawi President Peter Mutharika has directed that the Office of the President and Cabinet  (OPC) be restructured by relocating some of its current functions to their relevant sectoral ministries,  said State Vice President Saulos Chilima in a statement issued Saturday.

Following the restructuring OPC shall revert to its core business of management of the public service and cabinet affairs, said Chilima who is the chairperson of the Malawi Civil Service and Public Service Reforms Commission.

All chief executive officers of public institutions, principal secretaries and other senior public officers have been advised they will be assessed through their performance and “will not be allowed to attend public or presidential functions except where the functions or events pertain to their organisations.”

Restructring: President Mutharika (left) and  his vice president  Saulos Chilima

Restructring: President Mutharika (left) and his vice president Saulos Chilima

In the restructuring,  the Department of HIV/AIDS and Nutrition and the Safe Motherhood Initiative is to be relocated to the Ministry of Health.

The Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction will now relocate to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.

The National Registration Bureau—which is responsible for the National I.D. Project—will be under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government Contracting Unit is to be managed under the Office of the Director of Public Procurement.

The statement also said women civil servants will only be allowed to perform at public functions which directly relate to their profession or organisation or at an event to commemorate an anniversary or celebration of national or international significance.

“In such cases, controlling officers will be required to exercise strict discretion on the number of female civil servants to participate in such events,” the statement reads.

Mutharika appointed a Civil Service Reform Commission which is headed by Chilima and Commission members include  former Director of Public Procurement Bright Mangulama and economist and  a renowned resilient business man Thom Mpinganjira.

Social development lawyer and women’s rights activist Seodi White is also a member. An accounts expert Evelyn Mwapasa, Rev Matiya Nkhoma and barrister-at-law Krishna Savjani are other members in the commission.

President Mutharika said he wants to reform the civil service and hopes to promote “professionalism, integrity, technical competence and efficiency.”

He says he hopes the new civil service will be non-partisan and corruption free, which will be achieved “through full compliance with existing public financial management rules, regulations and practices”.

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