Kalindekafe’s job hangs in limbo as Malawi PS’s in reshuffle

The job of one of the longest serving technocrats in Malawi’s civil service Leonard Kalindekafe hangs in a limbo following the posting of Ben Botolo to take up his post as Principal Secretary for Energy in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Mining and Energy.

Kalindekafe, has been at the helm of the Energy Ministry as PS since December 2012 and information that Nyasa Times sources indicate that since the moving of Botolo to replace him, Kalindekafe has not been informed of his next destination.

A professional geologist, Kalindekafe, was until his appointment to be PS, held the post of a Director at the Geological Survey Department.

He holds a PhD, from the University of Dundee, UK and he is a Geologist with field experience in many African countries as well as Canada, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Kalindekafe was also once Chairman of the UN-founded Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) and is also a fellow of Geological Society of London and his major expertise is in mineral exploration, geological mapping, geochemistry, seismology, oil and gas exploration, mining law and policy.

Botolo, who was PS2 at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development before it was recently combined with the Ministry of Finance, confirmed his new posting in an interview.

“Actually, this is not my first time to be in that ministry which means it would not be a challenge for me,” said Botolo.

Botolo is an economist who started off as a mathematician and statistician after graduating from the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College and completed post graduate training in economics at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

His areas of expertise include Macroeconomic Analysis, Fiscal and Monetary Policy Analysis, Poverty and Social Impact Analysis and Government Budget Analysis. Mr. Botolo has worked on Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, 2006 and the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy, 2002.

Botolo previously worked as Director of Finance and Administration and   Director of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (2003–2008). He also worked in the Ministry of Finance up to the level of Deputy Director (1994–2003) in the Economic Affairs Division. He started his career at National Statistical Office (1990–1994).

The posting of Botolo follows shake-ups of PSs in the civil service after the administration of President Peter Mutharika reduced the size of Cabinet to 20 as one way of reducing public expenditure and improving professionalism.

Kalindekafe:  Mist over his new role
Kalindekafe: Mist over his new role
Botolo: Replaces Kalindekafe
Botolo: Replaces Kalindekafe

President Mutharika appointed a Civil Service Reform Commission headed by Vice-President Saulos Chilima and was tasked with realigning the roles of PSs, but it is not clear if the new movements are the work of the commission whose members include business mogul Thom Mpinganjira and former career civil servant Bright Mangulama.

Other changes have seen Patrick Kabambe, who was a PS in the Ministry of Education, but has previously served on several occasions as PS for Foreign Affairs and also Labour, has been moved back as PS for Labour while former PS at Information and Civic Education Lucky Sikwese has been posted to the Office of the Vice-President as PS.

Sikwese’s position was filled by former Malawi Broadcasting Station deputy director general Chimwemwe  Banda and at the Vice President’s office he replaces Paul Chiunguzeni who becomes commissioner and PS for disaster management affairs.

Former deputy high commissioner to Tanzania and one-time deputy inspector general of Police Often Thyolani has been posted to Ministry of Home Affairs to PS for internal security. He joins Ben Chisamile who is PS for home affairs and Francis Chinsinga as PS for National Registration Bureau which was moved from OPC recently as part of the civil service restructuring process.

Those also reassigned include Elsie Tembo as PS for tourism and culture under the ministry now called Ministry of Information, Tourism, Culture and Civic Education, Justin Saidi who becomes full PS from PS2 and former Accountant General David Kandoje becomes PS for finance and administration in the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has appointed Patrick Matanda as new Accountant General replacing Thomas Makiwa who has been posted to OPC as PS responsible for finance.

Following the shake-up and the reduction of the size of Cabinet, a number of PSs have been demoted from full PS to PS2.

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