Newly appointed Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC), Ms. Collen Zamba, has been sworn in, with President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera challenging her to discharge her duties with dedication and humility.
President Chakwera said SPC is instrumental to the implementation of government policies and presidential programmes across the public sector, as well as the efficient and professional delivery of public services to Malawians by the civil service.
He said the SPC has the duty to support and advise the President in the management and security of strategic sectors of the economy, ensuring that none are left at the mercy of cartels driven by selfish interests that keep Malawians poor and exploited.
“To be an SPC is an enormous task ad position of public trust. It requires a person of great courage, because you are tasked with changing a culture that many want to keep the same; even the people that praise and support you today do not realize that there are things in this country that need to change that they themselves will not want you to change, and that their applause may turn to attack when the day comes for you to effect the change that affects them,” said Chakwera.
The President added that the Office of SPC requires a person of great humility because it is tasked with ensuring that the outcome of all his or her “actions is improved service to Malawians, even if it means becoming unpopular with those who are satisfied with delivering poor service to Malawians.”
“It requires a person of great honesty, because you are tasked with telling public servants truths they do not want to hear and confronting wrongs in the public sector whose underlying causes and enablement by all of us as a society we refuse to be honest about; wrongs like stealing from one’s employer, doing a bare minimum at work as long as you have a job, looking for more and more entitlements for oneself instead of opportunities for Malawians, conspiring against authority when someone in charge begins to bring discipline in the work place, obsessing over plans, procedures and protocols with very little to show in terms of tangible results, and backbiting any patriotic Malawian who exposes our laziness and incompetence by working harder, better, and longer than us; wrongs that are commonplace in Malawian society and have metastasized in the civil service,” stressed Chakwera.
He further tipped Zamba to be a person of great fortitude, as her office will demand that she stands her ground against forces that are “determined to undermine you, discredit you, and conspire against you.”
“But in you, Ms. Colleen Zamba, I see precisely the sort of person who is made of such stuff, and what’s more, the Lord God and all Malawians of good will are with you,” said Chakwera.
Zamba becomes Malawi’s second SPC after Hawa Ndilowe during the Bakili Muluzu administration.