President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on Tuesday held a meeting with Principal Secretaries (PSs) for various government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) where he challenged them to spearhead the task of fixing broken systems in government.
Chakwera stressed that by virtue of their being controllers of MDAs, PSs have a greater role to play in fixing the broken system since they are controllers of the civil service.
“My task is to give you direction on what you must focus on and to engage in continuous evaluation of whether you have what it takes to fix a government system as broken as ours is,” he said.
Chakwera observed that the civil service “has been out of control for far too long, and you are the controlling officers I am trusting to help me change that.”
He advised the PSs to be to be tough, honest and brave with their workforce.
“It will feel like an uphill battle at first, but you will be proud to see the change and the impact it has on all Malawians. I want you to know I believe in you. Together, we can be the change we want,” he said.
The President also disclosed that the PSs will now be required to meet Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) monthly where they will be subjected to performance appraisals once every quarter.
Chakwera said the first goal of these measures is to create synergy among the PSs and increase the level of collaboration between them and his office.
“Ultimately, we must work for Malawians as one team. The second goal is to ensure that we are on the same page regarding what exactly is broken in the Civil Service and what we must do as a matter of urgency to fix it. The third and final goal is to ensure that there is no single MDA that is motivated by anything else other than excellent service to Malawi and its people, because if anyone in the Civil Service is there for any other reasons, it is your job to change the people or change the people,” he explained.
Chakwera added, “Therefore, in the spirit of collaboration, I invite your ideas and submissions of what you feel has gone wrong in the Civil Service in the past twenty years in general, what you have found challenging about working with OPC in the past two years in particular, and what you believe are the most helpful tools for fixing both as we go forward into a new chapter. Through my office at Capital Hill, I am determined to do everything I can to support you and set you up for success, and I am just as determined to not entertain any attitudes or behaviors from the Civil Service that are designed to make us fail.”