VP Chilima talks tough on mindset change at IPMM Indaba

Malawians must change their mindset, transfom and accept that the time to reform the country is now or never, Vice President Saulos Chilima has said.

Chilima interacting with IPMM officials

Chilima interacting with IPMM officials

Chilima was speaking in Mangochi during an annual conference by the Institute of People Management Malawi (IPMM) in Mangochi on Friday.

IPMM, which has publicly endorsed support for the reforms agenda by the Mutharika administration, convened the meeting under the theme “HR Transformation and Innovation: The Key to Increasing Productivity at Work.

Chilima said the theme was more befitting and comes at an opportune time when the DPP government is appealing championing the  business unusual way of doing things for Malawi to develop.

“Business unusual approach means changing the mindset of workers from being mere followers in the workplace to becoming doers and innovative employees so that they help to grow their respective organizations,” Chilima told the HR managers.

The VP said he was very much aware of that people’s mindset was crucial in the implementation of the reforms.

“From the perspective of the public service reforms which I chair, we are fully aware that people are the lifeblood of any organization and that they are the agents of reform and renewal in public administration,” he said.

He said the HR managers have a crucial in championing change in the work places.

The charged up veep conceeded that change is difficult and painful but said as patriotic citizens there is need to die a little if we are to pass a better country to the next generation.

Making a power point presentation, the first Malawi VP to be doing this, Chilima played a clip of how an eagle endures transformation when faced with two options of death or survival.

The vedio clip showed how the eagle chooses to live another 30 years when old age catches up by going through a painful way of plucking off its beak, talons and feathers and wait for new ones to grow to start life afresh.

“This applies to us as Malawians. Let’s make tough and painful  decisions today if we are to develop. Things that we have done for the past 51 years haven’t changed us or heleped us so let’s join hands for once and reform for the better,” said  Chilima.

Sharing progress of the reforms, Chilima said it was encouraging that more and more people are embracing the reforms and that progress is being seen.

He likened the reforms to a train that has left the station and none will stop it except dropping those who don’t want to continue  and picking new willing passengers.

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35 thoughts on “VP Chilima talks tough on mindset change at IPMM Indaba”

  1. Concerned health provider says:

    A significant obstacle to improving civil service and the country wide work ethic in Malawi is the punitive way in which employers are treated when trying to discipline or fire nonperforming employees. Generally these employees have an easy time extorting large sums of money from their employers through Labor Board suits, even if they confess themselves guilty of such things as abuse of position, theft, gross negligence, etc. As a result, almost no one is ever fired, just shifted around endlessly to the detriment of the organization and Malawi.

  2. Patrick Phiri says:

    Chilima is talking sense. Business as usual has failed. Caution; your government has to embrace all Malawians for the changes to take place. It has to do the walking the talk so that everyone can follow.

  3. Tengupenya says:

    Interesting if high places will start walking the talk. Cut convoys. Retire excess executives in government service. Right size the civic service executive. No sacred cows connected to cash gate, sweep clean according to available evidence. Let the wheels of justice move without undue interference from politicians. To clean up Malawi is to sort out the malaise about concluding cases involving citizens connected to fellow country men in high places. It is about sharing the burden of hard choices and hardship. It is about cleaning up government and financial governance. It is about an accountable financial market. Banks are now the masters of institutionalized fraud. Check it out!

  4. peeping lizard says:


  5. Petera says:

    Start changing civil servants’ mindset by punishing or dismissing those who are not trying to change. Coming to work very late, knocking off very early, every activity they do they need allowance, corruption. Why can’t u start biting indeed. Change will starting coming when such is started. Secondly, government procedures last long to b implemented. Start by chopping those who block swift procedures and lay off old timers otherwise this is not their time they must go now now. Chief secretary is the first to go coz he is long overdue to retire. Start implementing osamangolankhula, ikumva Chilima iwee?

  6. Chisalima says:

    MR VP enough of the talks, we need action. tapota nanu mkulankhula Mwe

  7. Vuto lake a chilima mungonena za reforms koma on the ground palibe cha nzeru chikuchitika, take it for me zaka five zikamatha kupezeka kut palibe chimene chachitika, runing a gvt z a serious bzness u cant compare it with running a company, ndiye mukamati ma reform aaaaaa mr veep it wont succeed coz u’ll b shot down by ur own dpp, mind u many in dpp dont consider u as wa dpp weniweni tiyeni nazo as go towards 2019 muzasova bambo, jb anaziona kumeneko mlomwe ndi munthu oipa u’ll agree this in the near future

  8. Sapitwq says:

    If ever you have worked in organizations all your life, transformation synonymous with re-engineering should not be a buzz word. It is a process,a life blood for an organization to cope with the costly changing economic environments.The agents that drive these transformations are always called all sorts of names: woyipa, woyipisitsa, wonyasa nkhope ndi mtima womwe etc. These agents have to drive change to the bitterness of what change would eventually bring to those who oppose it: voluntary severance packages, forced retirements to those who have passed age, disciplinary processes to those who sabotage change through deliberate absenteeism etc and eventually dismissals to offenders.Do you think Chilima has an easy job? Is he not like the agent who investigates corruption cases? Do you expect such people to have security lapse? Why should someone expect him to reduce his convoy which comprises that security required for such a person? To us the majority of millions of Malawians who are exposed to the inefficiencies in public institutions,we say we applaud this change and we need it like yesterday. We want them to talk tough and act tougher to the bitterness of those who oppose change. And change we believe in will bring smiles in due course!

  9. Gwamba says:

    I Think This Change Of Mindset Should Start From Your Party,otherwise You Are Just Loosing Your Energy.You Seem Getting Assimilated To Dpp Style. Yes! For Your Own Security You Are. May Be You First Teach This So Called Transiformation In Your House(dpp). Not, “Do What I Say Not What I Do”.

  10. MSANA WA PETURO says:

    So stupid and rubbish to hear. Your president and DPP must transform first. You don’t walk the talk. Nonsense!!!

  11. chimanyisko says:

    We want “do as I do” not “do as I say” approach Mr VP.

    Change begins with the executive (u).

  12. zencoh says:

    Osayiwala anthu omwe sanapite patsogolo ndi school ndi omwe anga bweletse nzeru za bwino. Kodi mwayiwala thawi ija munali ku Sobo mumatenga nzeru kwa juniors anu aVP ndikupanga decision. Remember ndiomwe amapanga implement zomwe mukufuna ndipo ndi amane angakuonetse kuti ndinu adolo popanga zinthu. Osawayiwala

  13. peeping lizard says:


  14. I have always said reforms without holding people accountable on people responsibilities will never work. SO i agree walking the talk from the top is what we need. That is what Kamuzu did very well actually extreme he used to whip failures to get this nation moving. today nobody fears corruption, stealing or simply breaking the laws!

  15. Dr Haswel P Bandawe says:

    1. The contents of the reforms may have been published. I wish they were listed in this article. Are the reforms for the government and civil service structure only or what?
    2. It is only when the whole list of things are changed like:
    (a) Civil service and government power structure, checks and balances, reporting and accountability procedures in government and civil service;
    (b) consultation of civil society in Government policy formulation;
    (c) complaint procedures and whistle blowing arrangements;
    (d) accountability procedures for statutory bodies like ESCOM;
    (e) extravagant spending by the executive and legislative branches of government;
    (d) an audit of ownership of property is conducted to ensure that indeginous Malawians are not sidelined in favour of naturalized citizens of Asian, European or other origin;
    (e) traditional authorities are not reduced into civil servants; and the historical processes of traditional authority are honored;
    (f) there is a clear-cut vision statement of the pillars that will guide the nation going forward;

    Without such clarity and guiding princes one cannot easly identify where the mind-set must change and from what to what.

    Such clarity would also help assess progress being made and challenges that need to be addressed to move from point A to point B.

  16. Walk the talk mr VP, I believe change gotta start from the top.

  17. mpingajira says:

    No amount of economic theory can assist a nation of vain, fake, corruptamd extrrmely lazy people. Not Friedman nor Karl Marx could have forseen a nation of this type. Just dressing, parties, weddings and chogololo basi!Posing like they are educated and intelligent but all dull as door knobs. We should promote a tourism industry where westrn people can come and see real losers. At leastbthatvwill generate a lot of forex and regularise balance of payments! We can then be able to import more expensive suits and dresses to continue our vain ad fake lives with expensive cars driven on roads without tarmac full of potholes and living in mansions without water nor electricity. A comedy or a tragedy or maybe a hybrid tragicomedy symbolized by both Bingu, JB and Petulo.

  18. Well Done Saulos !
    I have always believed that if the government had recruited just 10 competent people who have worked in organisations like Coca cola, Unilever , and TNM/Airtel or others we can see an accelerated change in the government and support this Reform program. Some staff in the government are half dead to make them think change is almost an impossible task. There are people in this country who can help these people can be found if we just need them that is no recruitment on political or tribal basis -it will help our country move to somewhere really fast. So try getting 10 more of ‘Saulos’ from the country so we move fast

  19. phofo says:

    Amene uti chilima avule chipewawe ndiye uwauzenso apolisiwo kuti nawonso avule.

  20. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    Mwana wa ng’ombe amaonera amake kunyera mkhola. You need to lead by example. People won’t take you seriously when you don’t seem practicing the austerity measures you are preaching. I mean why all that unnecessary huge convoy etc?

  21. Manifesto Silungwe says:

    Arrest Mphwiyo, Joyce Banda, msonthi, Mulli, then there will be mindset change pa flames

  22. Mafikizolo says:

    Mr Chilima, stop your incessant and empty preaching to Malawians . Instead, direct your preaching at the DPP which is clearly steering this country in the wrong direction . Every day we see signs that the George Chapondas and others are the real DPP, and that you are a mere passenger in that party . If you are man enough, let us see you begin to assert yourself and your ideas on the DPP . Otherwise, you are fast becoming an irrelevant public figure on the political terrain of Malawi .

  23. Gladson says:

    This is an encouraging article. It seems there are still a remnant that has Malawi at heart in their life. Although what is quoted in a news article is not the whole picture, I am personally impressed with what the VP has said. As Malawians nothing will help us, no one is going to develop this great nation, no one is going to bring positive change and transformation; but ourselves. Yes, it has to be painful, not only to those voiceless communities alone, but also to the elite group. I for one, would be happy to see Malawi move forward.

    My hope, however, is that the education sector is also targeted for the public reforms. We need an education that will make the student think, and not the one that makes someone memorize issues in order to pass an examination. Critical and creative thinking should be encouraged in our learning processes. Spoon feeding, where teachers, trainers, or even lecturers are considered banks of knowledge to be drawn by the learners will take this nation no where. This sacrificial self-giving that VP is advocating should be for now because most of us have already grown up doing things the usual way. Our children should be helped to grow up doing things an unusual way, which should be their (the children’s) usual way. Where in the world do you despise the backborne of your economy? Most parents and guardians tell their children that if they do not work hard at school they are going to become farmers. Farming/Agriculture has been looked at with a negative feeling; yet it is the current backborne of our economy. No wonder Irrigation Engineers are CEO’s for HIV and AIDS related organizations. How we misplace talent and skills in this nation I do not understand!

    I support the VP’s thinking. I support those who are patriotic. I support ideas that will bring true change in our society. I support ideas that can truly leave behind “unwilling train passengers” even if that could mean a State President! Change of mindset should also be evident in the political arena. Do not be there so that we clap hands for the work you are supposed to do any way. Do not drop a project simply because it was started by your political opponent. The list goes on and on. Let us have a mind that is set to develop Malawi. It is painful and bitter today, but it will be sweet in the generations to come.

  24. Bullshit says:

    Mr Chilima is the way forward the only thing I have faulted him here is ulemu. How can he wear his cap in front of all the people as it is on the picture? If it was outside the building, then its fine but the moment you start stepping your feet into a house, the cap is meant to be off as per Malawian way of showing respect.

  25. Mzee says:

    Mr VP reforms only work when people like you reform. Reduce your convoy and you too many policemen. Also stop employing your relations and Africana friends. Its you who should lead by example.

  26. The Analyst says:

    It is better to talk soft and act tough than to talk tough and act soft!

    ” . . . he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her . . . ” – Jesus Christ

    And they, being convicted by their own conscience disappeared one by one and the woman was left alone.

    If only your (government’s) mindset was changed, Malawi would be a better place.

    Your government has failed to make meaningful investigation into the jet-sale issue. To bring back and try Chanthunya who killed Linda Gasa. To bring justice to murderers of Robert Chasowa (yet we all know them). To conclude the K1.7bn Muluzi case (yet evidence is everywhere from, bank statements etc, that the money was used for personal nothings). To act with meaningful speed on establishing the link between cash-gate and Joyce Banda (yet we all see it). To lead and live the austerity you have forever preached. Among many other issues!

    Its only a thief that can’t condemn a fellow thief for fear of themselves being condemned someday. Or you are one of them? Lets walk the talk!

  27. Kumkani says:

    SKC must lead in this mindset change – he cannot afford to behave like his boss who is only good at making beautiful speeches. As they say, talk is cheap. Why does SKC feel there is nothing wrong in the Vice President of the poorest country in the world driving around in a convoy more than twice that of David Cameron, Angela Merkel or Francois Hollande?

    For me the length of the presidential and vice presidential convoy in Malawi is a good litmus test: If changes can’t be made in an area where there is no “pain”, how can changes be made in areas where there will be some pain for the Executive? Expecting other people to make painful changes while the Executive carries on with business as usual will not transform this country…

  28. Telling the Truth says:

    What the VP is saying is empty propaganda. The DPP cannot bring any meaningful change. What DPP has brought is nepotism and tribalism. If you are a Lomwe you are likely to be given a job. As for the economy Malawians are now worse off than May 2014 when Peter Mutharika became President

  29. kapy says:

    Malawians want to do better
    while relaxing and enjoying.

  30. Chemwali chimwene says:

    Muchedwa nazo izi a Chilima,what has changed we still have over 90 principal secretaries, even though you changed their titles, they are drawing the same salary and benefits. The number of vehicles your convoy remains the same, so what has changed? Between the two of you, how many advisors do you have? Do you need all of them? The village that you took to the UN is it part of the reforms? Ithought you will show these old pipo how the world has changed but no, you are one of them, young with an old political mind, what a waste of youthfulness.

  31. mwana mulopwana says:

    Chilima you are the biggest asset ever, I love and like your altitude when addressing issues. You can make another good Uhulu Kenyatta

  32. Concerned Citizen says:

    As a nation we have a disease. We have very fruitful meetings, agree on great milestones and it all ends there. Someone I knew referred to such meetings as:

    “NATO” meetings (No Action Talk Only).

    We have to get serious and ACT. All journeys start with a first step.

  33. im not a politician says:

    Politics asider, as a nation we really need to change our minds and embrace a new spirit of self determination, self reliance, accountability, responsibility and a strong hope for a transformed future. This mindset should be deep routed in our individual self and manifest not ony in talk, but actions as well. We shoul learn to be parsimonious on management of public funds and be able to forgo extravagant personal longings inorder to prioritise most essential needs of the masses. Austerity measures coupled with prudent management of our resources should be focussed on bailing out our nation from dire poverty. This hould be the core of our business and whereas it should be emphasised at all levels of the civil service, it must be championed by the highest office of the land (the OPC) in equal partnership with the legislature and all other arms of the government.

  34. Innovator says:

    If all of us were like you Bwana VP, Malawi would have been a super nation over a short period of time. You are heading civil servants majority of them have a mentality zeroed on allowances, cashgate and corruption to work. If you just remove these evil acts from their menu as your eagle did you will be surprised how deserted their offices will be. You want to transform a civil servant Mr VP? A Malawian Civil Servant being transformed in his or her mind set, sure? These old Civil servants have no business thinking in them. They have never sweated to get money to do business and see how challenging it is.They make easy money by stealing donor money through dubious allowances, cashgate, corruption and laziness.

    By the way Mr VP what are the indicators or milestones of you successful transformation. Share with us so that we also track you on tax payers money you are spending on your much talked transformation. If I were you I would retire all civil servants who have worked for say 20 years and above and bring complete business pace setters in all the ministries. These old logs are liabilities. In Malawi we no long need think tanks. We have enough of good thinkers who talk like Angelic leaned professors, Doctors, Lawyers and name them. Give them opportunities they have failed simple litmus test of performance, honest, integrity and hard work and they have always fall in love with the evil of laziness, corruption, dishonest and cashgate. We need to act precisely and honestly. Our poverty is not about thinking it is about corruption, cashgate, laziness and lack of patriotism, characteristics which best defines our civil servants. A faulty transformer cannot be used to scale up electricity. Your video eagle did not concentrate on thinking alone. It removed things that made it look old and bring new ones. You need new blood in the system. You need to root out evils of civil servants. Spend your transformation efforts with ACB to root out evil ones. Your Mind set change thinking agenda has limited chances of succeeding Mr VP. Check me after 5 years.

  35. benjnes says:


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