US presses for speedy Malawi public sector reforms, condemns political appointments in public service

US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer has asked for speedy implementation of public sector reforms, saying this is the best way to get Malawi out of its poverty trap.

US Ambassador Virginia Palmer: Reforms should speed up

US Ambassador Virginia Palmer: Reforms should speed up

Palmer said this in a special radio interview with Zodiak.

She also asked President Peter Mutharika to desist from making political appointments in the public service, saying only qualified and skilled Malawians can help the country fight poverty.

“Malawi is poor, very poor after 51 years of independence. But Malawi can do better if the reforms are implemented. This should e a matter of urgency,” said Palmer.

Palmer, however, noted that Malawi has made progress in financial prudence programmes and urged the government not to relax.

She advised the government to deal with the issue of ghost workers once and for all, saying this is a drain on the public purse.

The government is currently doing head count for each and every civil servant with an aim of identifying ghost workers.

Although the issue of ghost workers started soon after the 1994 multiparty elections, no one has so far been arrested or charged in connection with the swindling of public money through the creation of fake civil servants on government payroll.

Palmer commended the government for delegating one person to be in control of each government ministry and departments including payments, saying this would deter another occurrence of cashgate.

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20 thoughts on “US presses for speedy Malawi public sector reforms, condemns political appointments in public service”

  1. Patriot weniweni says:

    Virginia Palmer Mutharika is only interested of cashgate during Madame Joyce Banda.577 billion was looted during his brothers’s era but we never saw any big fish arrested from Dpp.This oldman is sitting on sacks of billions.Its him and his tribalmen who are enjoying in Malawi.Reforms is about putting his homeboys in strategic positions so that they can continue to swindle the taxpayer.The oldman is nepotistic to the core.He will never listen to any of these sentiments.Virginia Palmer you are just wasting your breathe for nothing.Malawians are used to all sorts of misery and poverty.They like worshipping their incompetent leaders alot.

  2. Mbuyache mapwiya says:

    Pamer pitiliza

  3. Ralphael says:

    Shorp ikamaoneka kuti sikupeza phindu mwini shorp amagulitsa kwaena kuti ayese mwayi nafenso tiligulise kwaena ayese mwayi tikukakamira tokha mpaka tikathera kunyanja timvere zomwe amzathu akunena mkhanda lazaka 51kumangokhalira kukwawa zithe kusolora kwaonjeza

  4. A GIDDESS says:

    Kodi amabwerela kulamula nawo dziko? kapena ndi a opposition? mpake kumawabalamutsa anthu yawa Kodi mumawafunsilanji? akuyendetsa nawo dziko kapena? ife ndiye anatikwanatu zongotsekula pakamwa pawo daily pa zochitika kwathu kuno. UKAPOLO/UTSAMUNDA UNATHA KALE Kaapitani chondeee!

  5. Dr Haswel P Bandawe says:

    It is sad that an Ambassador would publicly admonish the Government about nepotism and fraudulent “employees”. As if such waste and mismanagement is not enough, the Givernment goes on a spending spree on luxury vehicles and travel!

    Where is our pride as a people; where is our conscious if Goverent misuses the poor tax payers’ money and leaves the people exposed to preventable deaths because of shortages of medical supplies and risks of poor harvests and hunger because debts to suppliers of seeds and fertilizers are not paid on time?

  6. MLOMWE says:

    Good work Palmer i hope you have discovered the whole government departments are full of Lomwes and mostl got JSCE’s claiming they got degrees for instance Kondwani Nankhumwa and that is not his real name.Amen

  7. Mwala Mwala says:

    There was no serious thought given to the type of public service suitable for a multiparty democracy setup in Malawi. We ushered in democracy but we kept the old one party dictatorship kind of public service. Public appointments mean nothing much than rewarding a party crony or a home boy with a lucrative sinecure. Toss of the public reforms facade and there we go- incompetent and corrupt civil servants of all the time.

  8. Political appointments is one of the major diseases in Malawi. This disease has crippled the country because all this incompetence we see in the government and its subsequent failure to hold underperforming staff accountable is dragging the country to move forward. This disease was started by John Tembo when People from Dedza were always a priority to top position. When Bakili came to power he perfected the art then Bingu localised it Thyolo/Mulanje and a Mayi did not change much though she tried to appoint on National basis but still on political basis ! The current president has good intention but struggles to implement because this culture is deep rooted and being surrounded by home boys he will struggle to change this.

    But any President who will advertise top jobs and recruit best from the land shine as a star performer. This is what our leaders are missing. They should not have been struggling on some of these issues like power black outs, water supply outage just to mention a few areas.

    In our neighbouring country South Africa they had power failures early this year and ESKOM management gave similar reasons /justifications why power failure was unavoidable and SouthAfricans to brace themselves for blackout. Just recently the former ESKOM boss was fired and replaced on Merit basis by another guy who has vowed to end blackout and he has so far done ! We struggle to struggle to fire incompetents and we replace with another incompetent. Sad. I plead with our leaders to just try to advertise they will be amaze to find local good talent right here in this country. Just bring in 5 merit appointed guys in each ministry or parastatal this country will transform and you will win even more votes and silence your critics.

  9. Mnyamata wa nzeru says:

    Virginia, TIA- This Is Africa!!

  10. Iwe Palmer ma reform kuti atheke akufuna ndalama. Iwe wasiya kutithandiza koma mukufuna speedy reforms. Kodi ndinu munatiuza za ma reforms. Tisiye tipange mmene tikuganizira. Zaphuma ife ayi. Pano tikuona kaye za njala ndi mankhwala mzipatala. Ma reform satipatsa nsima ya lero. Zimenezo tichitabe mavuto a cashgate akachepa.

  11. Guguh says:

    We wait for a foreigner to tell us this patokha kukanika?? Shame shame shame

  12. Only Democrat Left says:

    Madame Ambassador could you to make Malawi’s hard fought democracy stronger please be open with the people of Malawi.
    Please tell us Malawians the truth about the billions of Kwacha that Bingu Mutharika and Peter Mutharika stole from Malawi.
    And please tell us that it is a requirement of the UK and Germany governments that Peter Mutharika should return the stolen money back to Malawi before aid is restored.
    This is not a private matter between Mutharika and the donors, Mutharika’s stole money which belongs to Malawi and we Malawians MUST be told the truth.

  13. tzbvxhn says:

    good one good one

  14. I happen to be one person who has had a taste of the negative effects of political appointment. Doing all donkey work, that everybody from work colleagues in the ministry and other ministries, even technical colleagues from donor agencies appreciated. Many of them expected that I will be considered for a higher position, which happenned to be in the political appointments bracket. Koma omwe amasankhidwawo, anthunso kumachita kudabwa. If the positions were up for competition, I am very sure that those who got appointed would not come anywhere near getting the job. Ena amati mwina I came from the wrong part of the country. For the avoidance of doubt, I come from the south.

  15. nachisale says:

    Can the ambassador help her USA government to sort out gun violence in AMERICA?

  16. vin mongu says:

    i agree with her on reverting to old system in Kamuzu Banda where political appointments limited to selecting amongst the pool of senior technocrats who will be a PS. It is possible since I have seen Mulli benched mpaka watukwana nazo.

  17. chimwemwe says:

    The Americam ambassador is our only hope out of all the donors, please assist Malawi we have turned into beggars and the fact is we cannot remain without donors, May God Bless you

  18. obamabama says:

    Virginia, why are you talking like an African. Or there is black American blood in you? Why are you just commenting on anything. After all you are the only ambassador from USA has decided to cut malaria drug aid in Malawi. Thus very bad. If you were in Afghanistan you couldn’t have stayed a year, even in France. France is becoming a dangerous place to live.Bikobiko mama vaginia Palmer watch your mouth more closely. Other wize its malawians who will watch it so closely for you. We will send you back to USA for a white ambassador not you black American ambassador.

  19. guta says:

    But US citizens and those working for US agencies should be sleeping in cheap hotels.Reverse this madam security is paramount to US citizens please

  20. Truck says:


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