A major government shake-up has taken place at Capital Hill as President Peter Mutharika has given the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) the nod to appoint a new Accountant General, new Budget Director and new director in the Office of Director of Public Procurement(ODPP), Nyasa Times understands.
Accountant General William Matambo, who has been in office for about two years, has been removed and he is moved back to Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
Matambo was hired as Accoutant General in 2015 when he replaced Thomas Makiwa who had been in office for about 18 months.
Makiwa, who previously served as director of Central Internal Audit Office in OPC, was relocated to National Audit Office as deputy auditor general.
Before being appointed Accoutant General, Matambo , who holds a Master’s degree in Insurance and Risk Management from Cass Business School and is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA), was working as director (strategy and risk) at the RBM since 2010.
He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accountancy) from the University of Malawi and certifications in internal auditing and business continuity management.
Government has also removed Budget Director Chauncy Simwaka who has been redeployed to be Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Defence.
Also removed is director of the public procurement Paul Taulo who has been moved to Lilongwe Handling Company (Lihaco) .
Nyasa Times understands that Taulo has been replaced by his deputy Edward Jeke as new director of public procurement.
Taulo told a procurement and supply management conference in Mangochi that the recent enactment of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) Bill of June 2017 will see the establishment of the new regulatory authority of public procurement and disposal of public assets in the country which will soon replace ODPP.
“We are in the process of establishing the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA). This means that the PPDA will shortly replace ODPP which was established under the Public Procurement Act of 2003 which was primarily responsible for the establishment of the Malawi Institute of Procurement and supply (MIPS) in 2008,” said Taulo.
Just recently, government redeployed several controlling offices, among them Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Erica Maganga has been moved to Information as PS.
Maganga has replaced Justin Saidi at Information who is now moving to the Ministry of Education as Principal Secretary.
Controller of Agriculture Services, Gray Nyandule Phiri, will replace , Maganga.
The shake-ups of PSs in the civil service has also seen PS Bright Kumwembe relocated to the Ministry of Energy in the same position.
Secretary for Human Resources Blessings Chilabade has been redeployed to the Ministry of Labour. He has since been replaced with Hillary Chimota
No clear explaination has been given by OPC on the shake-ups but critics argue the development is a scheme by governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) “to put their own people in strategic places in order to siphon money out for the 2019 elections.”
One observer noted that there has been continued nepotism in the way positions are being shared, saying everyone taking the key positions in the reorganisation is a Lhomwe – a tribe of the President.
President Peter Mutharika has been coming under heavy criticism that the country is experiencing the worst form of nepotism in the history of government,
There is a general perception in the country that since 2014 when Mutharika was elected as President, a number of appointments to public office have unfortunately been tainted with nepotism and regionalism.
Activists have been appealing to government that appointments to the civil service and diplomatic postings should be transparent, devoid of political patronage, nepotism and regionalism.
Mutharika has also been asked to be more inclusive when making ministerial and other appointments to public office.
Chairman for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), who is head of the Catholic Church in Malawi, Archbishop Thomas Msusa pointed recently that Malawi is failing to register a meaningful social and economic transformation partly because of nepotism.
He said time has come for Malawi to reflect the love of God which transcends all boundaries.
But Mutharika denies nepotism charges, saying “ those that accuse me of exercising nepotism and tribalism ndi zitsiru (are stupid) and don’t know what they are talking about. They are wrong, as wrong as they can be.”
Mutharika argued that in civil service, out of 225 positions from grade E to A that a president appoints, 83 are from the north.
He said while the population of the north is nine per cent of the country’s population, it has 33 per cent of the positions in the civil service.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :