It is not easy to quantify the value Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) has brought back to the Office of the Vice-President especially when the predecessor is Mr Everton Chimulirenji.
Meek, unsophisticated, loyal and to the book, Chimulirenji’s short stint as veep was defined by attending funerals, cheering the unfortunate, gracing graduation ceremonies of backstreet colleges and, of course, being visibly present wherever the president goes.
With Chimulirenji, the Office of the Vice President was narrowed to a mere department of social welfare under the Department of Disaster Management Affairs.
To mean, anyone succeeding Chimulirenji had a grand opportunity of looking sharper and that is where the problem starts when analyzing 100 days of Chilima.
In ideal setting, you need a vice president who is smart, calm, visionary and stable because, God forbid, they are a president in waiting.
Against his flaws, Chilima isn’t a person you would doubt for the office of the vice-president, even the presidency. He is educated, experienced and, above all, he has a knack to connect easily and inspire.
Even when President Lazarus Chakwera announced him to be responsible for Economic Planning and Public Sector Reforms, there was a considerable level of shared confidence among different sectors of the public.
Of course, we haven’t heard much from Chilima on the Economic Planning front apart from the mention that was instrumental in designing the 2020/21 budget especially in balancing expectations and economic situation on the ground.
However, it’s on Public Sector Reforms where, in 100 days, we have seen Chilima being focused, energetic and professional, but at the same time exhibiting noticeable traits of his controversy.
He has been focused because he hasn’t, in 100 days, committed to anything else apart from reviving the public sector through rigorous stakeholder engagements with all the ministries and, of course, parastatals.
In these engagements, Chilima had a clear agenda of ensuring that ministries and government companies are efficient and productive.
So committed to the agenda he was that if you are Malawi Institute of Management (MIM) and you come unprepared, you had to face his worse and suffer public exposure and ridicule.
Besides being focused and, also energetic, Chilima also showed high level professionalism in the way he has been handling his public sector reforms work.
Malawi’s public sector has, for years, being defined by laissez-faire attitude to doing things. Chilima has shocked many to be a man who, by 7:30 am, is already in office and during meeting and engagements he is always in time. This, one can argue, is a quest by Chilima to instill the lost discipline in the country’s public sector and it’s something worth applauding.
Despite a great showing, Chilima has, again, shown that he is a controversial character who is ready to get things done or do things in his own unconventional way.
For instance, it is reported that Chilima still uses personal vehicles on duty and, even worse, he drives himself.
I don’t know about you, but this is a clear symbol of a character that can do things on his way, however right to him, but without consideration of breaking protocol.
That controversy is well in him and, frankly speaking, it can impact both positively and negatively on how he exudes his duties for the good of Malawians.
But despite that, it would be an understatement that, at least, the Office of the Vice President is in the rights of Chilima who, in 100 days, has proved to be energetic, professional, focused and controversial in how he exudes his work.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :