President Peter Mutharika’s prompt civil service reforms which he directed soon after taking office two years ago have hit a snag, leaving Malawians surprised and frustrated.
In a memo dated July 12, 2014, Mutharika directed that chief executive officers of public institutions, principal secretaries and other senior public officers needed to spend more time attending to their core functions.
“As a result of this, they will not be allowed to attend public or presidential functions except where the functions or events pertain to their organisations,” reads the memo in part.
Mutharika also ordered that women civil servants will only be allowed to perform at public functions which directly relate to their profession or organisation or an event to commemorate or celebrate of national or international significance.
“In such cases, controlling officers will be required to exercise strict discretion on the number of female civil servants to participate in such events,” says the memo.
However, the directive was only followed just for a few months into office.
President of Economists Association of Malawi, Henry Kachaje who in 2014 wrote on Facebook, “Now we have a leader,” wrote again on Wedneday after two years on the same social media platform, “Reading this after two years I now think I spoke too early.”
Kachaje added: “ Female civil servants and the government officials are not only attending presidential political rallies but the ruling Democratic Progressive Party officials continue to use government vehicles and other public resources willy nilly.”
Malawians on social media are expressing frustration at the Mutharika administration for swift backsliding on most of the reforms and promises he made in the run up to the general election in 2014.