Civil servants in the country now have all the reason to smile following government’s introduction of a social economic empowerment network (SEEN), an initiative aimed at promoting government employees economically.
Principle Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Women and Child Development, Dr Mary Shawa said the initiative would empower civil servants economically through the provision of micro and macro finance loans through banks to curb dependency syndrome.
She disclosed that female civil servants will be the first to benefit after forming groups and completing registration forms.
Asked for his take on the development, Civil Servants Trade Union President, Eliah Kamphinda Banda expressed ignorance on the initiative and doubted its sustainability.
“We have not been communicated on the introduction of the SEEN and our fear is that it might be politicized,” said Kamphinda.
However, Shawa strongly denied any political connection in the initiative saying; “the aim behind this is to help civil servants supplement their peanut salaries so that they also contribute to the country’s development.”
She further added that the plan would also work as a deterrent to brain drain from the service that has for a long time seen government employees seeking greener pastures in the private sector or abroad.
According to Shawa registration exercise is currently underway in many government departments adding that the initiative is open to all civil servants regardless of office grades.
She said government has nothing to do with the type of business one would like to venture into.
“Government employees can choose to start whether small scale or larger scale businesses according to the magnitude of the loan they have accessed,” said PS for the ministry.
Random interviews by the Malawi News Agency (Mana) in most government offices in Blantyre revealed that most government officers are not aware of the socio-economic empowerment network initiative.
SEEN is being implemented by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Women and Child Development which is providing technical and advisory support to the initiative.
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