Attorney General has observed worrying trends in government systems – NAP

National Advocacy Platform (NAP)—an umbrella body of some 60 civil society organisations,  has welcomed communication from the Attorney General  Dr Chikosa Silungwe  cautioning the new Tonse Alliance led administration against poorly-drafted contracts, unlawful dismissals and redeployment of heads of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Attorney General Silungwe: SPC should only be involved in the secondment of Principal Secretaries or heads of public institutions

Silungwe, who is government’s chief legal advisor, has urged the Tonse Alliance administration led by Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera, to involve his office in the drafting of all government contracts in a bid to save public funds.

According to the Attorney General, as at 17 August 2020 and for the financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20, “the total judgement debt against the State stands at approximately K29 billion.”

Benedicto Kondowe, chairperson of the National Advocacy Platform pointed that  the communication was an indication that Attorney General had observed worrying trends in the government systems which prompted his action to sanitise the system.

In the communication, Silungwe also tackled the subject of secondment and observed that it was provided for in the Malawi Public Service Regugulations; hence, any purported secondment outside this legal framework was illegal.

He said: “Secondment is a temporary movement of an employee with consent from one ministry, department or agency to another ministry, department or agency to perform the function of a position that already exists or to take up a special project.

“The employee maintains his or her substantive position in the ‘sending’ ministry, department or agency. More critically, the secondment must be at the request of the ‘receiving’ ministry, department or agency.”

Besides, the Attorney General also clarified on the role of the SPC in secondment of employees, saying the SPC should only be involved in the secondment of Principal Secretaries or heads of public institutions.

“In all other cases, he cannot and must not be involved. Any involvement is tantamount to procedural impropriety and illegal. In all other cases, the Principal Secretaries are in charge of the process outlined in para 10,” he said.

The AG also scoffed at a practice “that has emerged in recent years where a public officer is informed that he or she been posted to the Office of the President and Cabinet where they shall be assigned new responsibilities,” saying such officers report for work and do nothing.

He said: “Illegal deployment is costly. Lately, the State has been ordered to pay over K700 million and K500 million because of illegal deployment of officers. Fair labour practice is paramount principle under Malawi’s labour law. The courts in Malawi have relentlessly upheld this principle.”

A fortnight ago, Attorney General also stopped the OPC from seconding to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs an official  Chizaso Nyirongo whose position, chief legislative officer, was already occupied by another officer  Amani Mussa and the ministry did not request the secondment.

And Principal Secretary for Justice and Solicitor General Gertrude Hiwa is challenging in court her transfer to the OPC as chief director for good governance.

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BigMan
BigMan
1 year ago

Well done bwana AG. Good advise.

Zio ine
Zio ine
1 year ago

Big up Silungwe, tell these apprentice. Now they know if they remove heads of departments or parastatal, they will be in breach of their contract hence they have resorted to come up with tramp up charges like what they did to Mbilizi, Magalasi and now Irate. This is just a ploy to get their own people while keeping the others in suspense with court cases.

Medson
Medson
1 year ago

Good point Sulungwe

John chidongo
1 year ago

Mwana uyu ngwazeru nadi eti. Ndimotinkhumbira thena not kuzomerenga waka pakuti wati ni boma la Tonse. Mwenkha mwekha mususyanengeko.

Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba

When we wanted change, we wanted sanity in the public sector as well. The current civil service is completely infested with dpp party cadres who were employed without interviews. Most of the appointments were based on district of origin. How do you justify 64 of 70 PSs coming from one region? There is one PS who was fired as a police commissioner by Bakili Muluzi but was installed by Bingu just because he comes from Thyolo? If you came from the North forget about being promoted and worse still if you came from Dowa, Lilongwe, Kasungu, Dedza, Mchinji, Ntcheu, Salima… Read more »

Chiswa B
Chiswa B
1 year ago

Dont mislead people. 64 out of 70? are you snoozing on a counter?

Bigman
Bigman
1 year ago

Where and when did Silungwe attend interviews for his current post.

Some of the current CEOs just walked in without interviews. Get rid of them and advertise accordingly. Mukufuna kuweta Nokia eti!!!

Malik
Malik
1 year ago
Reply to  Bigman

The position of Attorney General is a political appointment same as a ministerial appointment.

The president can appoint any suitably qualified person at his discretion to the position.

This is the practice all over the world.

JONES
JONES
1 year ago

Thanks a lot Dr Chikosa. That is the sanity the new Malawi wants!

mkamwini wang'ono
mkamwini wang'ono
1 year ago
Reply to  JONES

Bwana Silungwe; Tonse government has failed us on recruitment. I dont see the merit of recruiting those who retired. they are repeating the old habits of transfering people at will. Shame.

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