VP Chilima says govt to create ministry of public reforms: Malawi PSs to be reduced by 56

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima on Thursday spelt out v civil service reforms being carried by Public Service Commission (PSC) and  disclosed that government will create a special ministry responsible for public Service Reforms to enforce implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the reforms that will be taking place.

Chilima : Urges Malawians to transform or forget development

Chilima : Urges Malawians to transform or forget development

Chilima, who chairs the commission, told a news conference on Thursday in the capital Lilongwe,  that the aim of the reforms is to facilitate creation of effective and efficient public service that will spur economic growth.

He  called on all Malawians to transform or forget development.

Chilima announced that government wants to match the number of PSs and existing Ministries based on the needs and that  the number of principal secretaries will be reduced  by 56 from the current number of  96 to 40.

“This should be done through transparent and consultative process,” said Chilima.

“We will delete all irrelevant positions in order to come up with lean and vibrant organisation,” he announced.

Chilima said the number of government ministries will not exceed 20..

The VP also notes that junior staff in civil service continues to violate set rules and procedures relating to performance.

“We have noted that there is a senior government management paralysis with regard to their supervisory roles. Now we want senior officials to exercise their mandates and discipline insubordinate staff without fear or favour,” he says.

Chilima said to ensure the independence of the office of the Auditor General, the commission has recommended that the office should be reporting direct to parliament.

The Vice President has named eight ministries to champion the reform program which include: Ministry of Finance, Home Affairs , Education, Transport, Local Government, Energy and Health.

Chilima was flanked by seven commissioners namely; Professor Peter Mwanza, Thomas Mpinganjira, Evelyn Mwapasa, Reverend Matiya Nkhoma, Seodi White, and Bright Mangulama.

Before Chilima spoke, Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa read out a brief background on the objectives of the PSC.

Nankhumwa said the Commission held various meetings with stake holders across the country

He also said training of civil servants at the Malawi Institute of Management (MIM) will resume soon.

Nankhumwa also announced that decentralisation of immigration and road traffic services are underway.

He said the commissioners undertook a special study tour to the following to Kenya, United Kingdom and Singapore.—(Additional reporting by Malawi News Agency)

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63 thoughts on “VP Chilima says govt to create ministry of public reforms: Malawi PSs to be reduced by 56”

  1. Muchizi John says:

    I am now having a different view about VP’s capabilities. I think he is not that clever and shrewd. He says he want to create a robust civil service while he’s busy politicizing it. How would one with a clear head tie President’s tenure of office with the tenure of head of civil service [chief secretary]. Worse still politicize Anti Corruption, Budget Director, Secretary to Treasury and such others. The only way civil service will become effective,efficient, robust and professional is to free it from political interference. One sure way to free the service from undue political influence is making sure all positions are filled on merit basis. This means all positions should be competed for. Mr. VP you need to think through your reforms carefully otherwise you will make civil service a complete failed organization. Your Commission lacked people who intelligently understand the chemistry of civil service. You honestly need to revisit you proposal of tying tenure of political government to civil servants’ office tenure. It’s needlessly counterproductive and takes us nowhere in civil service reforms. We will end up worse than what our civil service is today

  2. bakili wakuba says:


    MTL ?????????????????????????????

  3. Vin mongu says:

    much as reforms are a must in malawi with the civil service being bloated, i agree that we do not need a ministry to do reforms because they will be with same power structures as other ministries and it will erode its power. mr. chilima, produce a public blue print with proper analysis since what you are saying would not coherent make a difference. what is it that we want to hear: 1) how did PSs end up going to 96 in the first place? Reestablish the form path from Permanent Secretary to Deputy Secretaries, Under Secretary to director going down. 2) Be bold and tell Malawians that presidential appointments of PSs and approval of contracts can only be for PSs. 3) empower human resources dept in OPC to do more. it is good that MIM has to be involved with staff capacity but GoM had staff development institute which was doing the same. 4) outsource most of the public service functions.

  4. jozi says:

    Kuyendetsa airtel doesn’t mean is intelligent. Unali mwayi chabe. Running government is not selling airtime achimwene. Zimene akunena zikuwoneka alibe nzeru. Retrenchment ya ma Ps samachita announce. You just come up with package and come up with criteria. Reserve Bank did that. You look at age, performance and those you dont like. Then you open up to every Ps who wants to go. We will go. Chilima will be surprised. He thinks psychologically he can buly Pss by telling them they are going? We want our packages now chilima wamva?

  5. BalakaGuy says:

    Anthu mukamapeleka ma comment mumakhala ngati mukunena za nzerutu,koma mbuzi zokhazokha,Mr chilima mufuna muwauze chochita munthu oti anayendetsa company ya Airtel,Bravo VP I ADMIRE YOU

  6. Oh says:

    The guy has just created a ministerial job for himself.

  7. Malawiana says:

    Just allow some of the younger PSs to revert to Directorships and the system will sort itself out. So if we had these many PSs already, why was Natty Professor adding on the already bloated number?

  8. Ntondo says:

    Reform ilowe ku water basi

  9. Kulimbana ndi ma PS oti ntchito yawo timaiwona,bwanji osamuuza Muthalika kuti achepetse ma advisor?

  10. Andionjeza says:

    I have always said that in this government the VP is the only best thing that ever happened. this guy works. chonde let it not be just leap service.

  11. Goshe says:

    What type of mathematics is this…minus one plus one…what will be the answer….i could guess,yes every Malawian who ever attended primary education would guess the same way,..constant figure..if you add one and remove one you will have what you had

  12. Goshe says:

    May be its true..
    but do we as Malawian realize the shortcoming rupture?..prices for basic needs for daily individual survival are escalating like crazy…my question is what will be Malawi like in next two years?

  13. Sinthani says:

    Another error in the making! Why create a Ministry of Public Reforms while the objective is on the contrary? You need just to create a department or an independent body to spearhead this and not a Ministry. Secondly, what is the basis of 56 PSs? This recommendations should come after a thorough analysis of the Civil Service functions. The challenge of any reform is the appeasement policy by any incoming ruling party….. Why not start cutting of the numerous presidential advisors?

  14. Me too says:

    public service is supposed to be built on career path, meritorious promotion and rules & regs So Mr. Chilima remember two important things: 1. Treasury Instructions (Funanace and Stores) are being flouted. As a result many public assets have been transferred to individuals and companies without dre process. This is theft. 2. The man on top of a unit of service delivery in the public sector should have risen through the ranks, but entry points and the potential to progress should corelarate with academic qualification and training. Even appointments that “please the president” are supposed to be recommended on the basis on these credentials. But these days, Mr. Chilima can influence that I become the PS for Community Development merely on the basis that we were together in university and were members of the executive committee of the Chancol wing of aford. It’d be good for me but that’s not how things should be…(yes, I’m referring to the once intellectual alliance for democracy that you knew – on one night Chakufwa was supposed to address students in the great hall & udf die-hards connived to black out the college and part of zomba/chirunga line….the rest is history….hahahaha. this world of ours).

  15. Gonto says:

    Some of you are just making noise and you have never worked in the government. The salaries of 56 outgoing PSs can cater for hundreds of many junior civil servants. Most of the work is done by juniors and seniors they just endorse signatures and see the if everything is dine accordingly!

  16. ZAMADALA says:


  17. kanyimbi says:

    Good news to reduce the PSs but to create a ministry it sounds abnormal. I hope the purpose of reducing the PSs is to minimise costs, so if a ministry is created what will be the duty of Chilima? I remember Chilima was said to be the in-charge of the public reform?

  18. Pacharo says:

    Tinayamba kumva kalekale zimenezo.

  19. Thuli says:

    Bwana ku Water kwadzadza ndi ma bwana a MSCE komanso city & guilds.Anyamata ama degree a water aku Mzuni alembeni ntchito alongosole zinthu osati ma district water officer ossdziwa ndi auto-card yemwe.

    1. kanyimbi says:

      Man, experience ndi yofunika. Ngakhale enawo atakhala ndi masters koma pamafunika ena odziwa.

  20. Chatty Man says:

    We need ppl with a vision like you chilima this is the progress we are looking for.

  21. Thoko Banda says:

    Mwati chani. Reducing PSs but adding new ministry?
    Beats me!!!

  22. Hoitty says:

    Ifenso study tour tikuyifuna

  23. Zan says:

    Wasn’t this supposed to be done the minute you people took over the government ?

    1. Mmihavani says:

      Zan, am sorry to say that you are exposing your ignorance and nakedness. A project of this magnitude that affects a lot of people, departments and stakeholders can never be done immediately as you suggest. It needs careful analysis and consideration of so many factors. That’s what they did here. Inu mmafuna basi angodzuka nkuzati titere titere? Umbuli. Can’t you people for once remove your bitterness and concentrate on those things that matter. Your bitterness is inhibiting you from progressing in life.

  24. Mbanga says:

    Mwanayu musammalizetu.

  25. fathi slshehaab says:

    Ayi ndi mwana zachibwana-bwana ndithu experimenting power?

  26. fathi slshehaab says:

    am still to appreciate evaluate the motives behing these reforms led by the Veep.
    kodi ayiwala anthu ena akufuna fedulo… so thud could be shortlived….wsit till we firdt agree to refrenda fedelusm then you may have such powers or indeed thrse could shift to regionsl or provisionsl govts.
    why creat new ministry when same can be absorbed within opc or indeed loubour &human development
    veep some of these ps u want to chuck out are better wualified exposed thsn youself.
    this like doind redandancies in coomercisl organization,you may think the bad one will go & you remain with good ones to who..dpp or unity govt..what will be the role of all political parties in such an exercise. they are stakeholders you know and they rrpresent mslawians too.. so wstchout in such risky undertakings..amen!

    1. brutsha says:

      Inu osangolemba ndemanga yanu Mchichewa bwanji? Mukutimvetsa mutu ndi Chingerezi chotchokatchokacho.

  27. Dzoneni says:

    Please VP, seriously consider promotions based on qualification and merit. There are a lot of dunderheads in top positions in the civil service and all that in the name of a high Grade. People who can perform are deliberately frustrated. Save the Civil Service.

  28. nsanje port says:

    Bravo brilliant government with brilliant leaders!!

  29. Change Maker says:

    The only guy ready for reforms.This is the only country that has been changing the presidency and not government machinery!Too many PSs who just clap hands as their survival tactics

  30. Mzumara says:

    Abolish Water Development. Water Resources Management and Development should go to National Water Resources Authority or Malawi Water and Energy Regulatory Authority (MWERA). Water supply should be under District Councils in line with decentralization policy. Then retire very corrupt officers at Tikwere. Ndalama zamijigo akumadya bwana wina wake waku Area 25 using mnyamata wake waku Area 18. The Area 18 guy is reported to be the most richest guy at Tikwere House (Water Dept). Komanso a VP suzumilaniko Ku National Water Development Program (NWDP). Kuliso kusolora kwambiri.

    Ku water kuli WATER-GATE. Shire Basin, National Water, Borehole Fund, Irrigation fund, Songwe etc.

  31. dadaboma says:

    A ministry of public service reform? No. That’s nonsense. Reforms are not a continuous activity. They are periodic activities, and not supposed to have a ministry specifically for them. Let the PSC continue its job. This govt has already run out of ideas, and is clueless, firefighting and groping in dark. we don’t need more ministries. We want the many that are there to be reduced even further in light of dwindling financial resources. We don’t even need ministers. PSs are enough. We already have a govt that is overburdening us with preposterous perks which they increase at will, we can’t tolerate a burgeoning ministerial portfolio anymore. Chilima should not experiment on us – we’re already miserable and angry. Give us money – that’s all we want, not another bloodfunken ministry.

  32. vero says:

    Mr Chilima atithandiza….l like this guy

  33. Sing'anga Halawala says:

    The Government sends some PS’s to Guantanamo Bay and at the same time recruits new ones in the likes of Chimwemwe Banda Bright Kumwembe Mwandidya and some lady in Ministry of Education. Today same Government talks about reducing number of Principal Secretaries. Should we be convinced that it knows what it’s doing?

  34. che bint says:

    my hero.i kno this guy will turn up things not the old crop who r just sitting phwiiiiii

  35. strategem says:

    This is very good news, it was so bad that PSs were being promoted without being trained for the job, we need career PSs and not just pushing people from the private sector into government, no wonder they come with their own perks therby disturbing the civil service remuneration package! Pliz Rt Hon VP also clean up the MDF, its top heavy, there r too many Generals!! The previous Administration messed up big time and did not follow or care about procedures and established posts as per MDF Regulations! The Medical Doctor is a Major General against an established post of Colonel, the established post for Commanding Officer is Lieutenant Colonel yet they have Brigadier Generals as Commanding Officers! Rt Hon VP u need another Council for MDF Reform. You have also to look into the Malawi Police Service, it also has too many Commissioners! By the way its not cool to reduce Generals to Deputy CEOs when they r removed from their positions, they r supposed to head the organisations u send them too!

  36. Gogo says:

    That is total destruction.Just say you dont have money.Where will you lodge all dismissed PSs.Just say you have failed.Bakili,Big Kahuna,JB had no problem with 92 PSs and you why reduce to 40.Stupid government.

    1. Mmihavani says:

      Gogo, it’s us taxpayers who have problem with them. I can’t be paying my tax just to feed 92 idle people who are just sitting phwii in their airconditioned offices. If they are educated and skilled they should look for employment elsewhere or do business like us. For your information I pay around K3mn taxes every month in form of PAYE and profits from my businesses. I sweat for this money and it must not be used to pay overstocked civil servants who just play bawo.

  37. Alufeyo says:

    There is nothing new here. All these reform initiatives have been in existence since 2006. Chilima should first sort the process of appointing officers in grades E to A. The criteria should be set before getting tid of these people. I have been a PS for 18 years and recently retired. I would want APM to ensure that civil servants are involved in these initiatives. I am aware that what the Commission is recommending cant solve the malaise that characterises the MCS. Surprisingly talking to senior civil servants shows that these people know what should be done but lack political leadership. Am aware that there are about 47 reports on various reform initiatives since 1985 but only 1% has been implemented. Please incolve civil servants dont just shove useless ideas down their throats.

  38. GRM says:

    Let me advise Chilima that Reform is not ad hoc or emergency action or a project. My simple understanding of reform as a sustained process of fundamental change in national policy and institution arrangements means that Chilima has to provide a framework for the change of policies not only ad hoc and haphazard institutional arrangements. He has to come up with the framework as soon as possible so that we know what problems he want to address, what objectives, what process, priority areas, time frame etc. As of now Chilima seem to change everything which i think is not the case. As well as he is trying to change existing organization and management structures he should tell us whether this goes beyond the financing systems and also where he is going to get the money to finance the recommendations from the reform. Where he is going to throw the 56 PS? How he is going to utilize the on going reform process regarding decentralization and even where he is going to throw or streamline the current on going sector specific reforms like in health sector. Again for reforms to be legal and institutionalized and owned by this current government and other governments to come the process should go through parliament to enact a law for it like the way we came up with the Decentralization Act of 1998. Why Chilima is working as if he has a final say on reforms baffles me. CHILIMA, THE MINIMUM I EXPECT FROM YOU IS TO COME UP WITH THE FRAMEWORK FIRST. THE MAXIMUM IS TO COME UP WITH AN ACT LATER. DO NOT BARK!!

    1. Mmihavani says:

      Mungonena kuti you are resting change. You must be the one to be affected. The 56 people should look for employment elsewhere if they are skilled and educated. They should use their skills to start businesses and employ others. Who said a job in civil service is for life? All the 92 PSs for what? For this poor economy that doesn’t tick? These things happen in private sector. People get laid off every year and they don’t die, they survive. I have a right to say this because am a taxpayer who pays thes PSs. I pay over K3mn every month. Don’t use my tax just to feed lazy bawo playing PSs. A also don’t utilise goverment services although I pay tax. I pay MASM, I pay for my security, I send my children to private schools, I get no subsidy. I want my tax money to pay for deserving civil servants who work as hard as me.

  39. tzude2 says:

    Abwana zikangotheka izi ntheradi muimanso

  40. dj mpoto says:

    Why go to Kenya UK, instead of asking for reports through mail? Kukonda ma allowance. This commission should abolish the allowance system

  41. Lawyers says:

    Madness up to 96 PSs? What for? Bakili is the source of these problems and don’t forget he had a cabinet of 50. My only fear is that PSs from Central and Northern regions will targetted though already very few. What is old Peter Mwanza doing?

  42. Mnyero wiza says:

    Tiona m’mene zikhalile bwana tukupenyani ndimaso ose 2

  43. Theresa Chatimba says:

    Why has the Ministry of labour been left out. Doesn’t make sense.

  44. Peter Mathanyula Wakuba says:

    This is the only guy in government who is working

  45. John says:

    Lean and vibrant organisations my foot! Like you have lean and vibrant ministers and advisers?
    Theory/pakamwa ndiye ndinu madolo, koma tikati do the practicals, ndiye fwe fwe fwe!!

  46. EYES says:

    government should also abolish internal audit because the people are corrupt. they will demand allowances from the department that they are auditing and if you refuse to give them then they write bad reports.

  47. Kadakwiza says:

    DPP government will put many people in the streets. Instead of creating jobs, the unemployment will rise. Is there any plan for school leavers, what about graduates? This government will not help. Is useless.

    1. John says:

      we have so many vacant positions in govt. reducing number of PSs will not in any way send people to the streets.

  48. TIUZENI ZOONA says:

    in fact we dont need ministers because they are a drain to resources. imagine when they go out visiting departments they demand fuel. accomodation yet the same was paid from their ministry

  49. Chibwe says:

    Great, keep it up.

  50. Manyasa says:

    Thats good news

  51. Namalira says:

    Tukupenyani komanso kukumvetserani. Tiyeni nazo. It’s easier said than done Bwana VP. Mwalengeza zija nzochulukirapo koma mathelo ake sakuoneka

  52. Mtungah says:

    Surprisingly, none of the commissioners have never worked in the civil service and have no institutional memory of the same. Composition of the commission itself is regionally questionable. Present the other objectives please.

    1. Consultant says:

      That the commissioners have not worked as civil servants may be a strength. They can independently, if they are competent and insightful enough, identify the problems with the public system and offer solutions without conflict of interest and or bias. Sometimes conflict of interest is what prevents one from being rational, and ex PS would mostly likely be biased recommending , say, current number of PS be reduced; even if that was an optimal solution.

      1. johnM says:

        The fact that they recommended that there should be a Ministry of Public Reforms clearly shows that they did not know what they were doing. I think people like Malewezi, Kaphambe Nkhoma, who have worked in the civil service, would not have come up with such a dubious recommendation

    2. Pasavute says:

      Get your facts right. Do you live in Malawi or Mars?

  53. NYAKWAWA says:

    Nanga mumachulutsiranji kuchoka pa 42 omwe Bingu (RIP) ndi JB anasankha?

    Munali ndi phuma?

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