Malawi President reforms hit snag as Mutharika orders OPC restructuring

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.

Mutharika: Orders OPC restructuring
Mutharika: Orders OPC restructuring

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.

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Haswel Bandawe
Haswel Bandawe
5 years ago

It is a pity that a person with a high education, who has lived in a developed country and taught at a university should set such low professional standards and conduct of political affairs. There has to be a separation of Party political rallies and government (national) functions. After election results a chosen President belongs to the whole country. Treating each function as partisan party political activities is regrettable. Disturbing the normal workflow so that civil servants attend political rallies of a President is a throwback to Dr Banda’s dark days. How can this be the norm in 2016? This… Read more »

5 years ago

With lomwelisation policy at its peak when it comes to appointments to senior Government positions, talking about reforms is just an insult.The Lomwelisation animal is compromising the professionalism of the entire civil service.A case in point is the recent appointment of the Director of Public Procurement(an inexperienced chap) and that lady, clerk of Parliament who was at a distant no. four position during interviews.As a long as senior positions in Statutory Corporations,Deputy Directors,Directors and PS in MDA continue to be filled through noncompetitive and nepotistic manner(It has pleased…….) Malawi cannot have a meaningful reform.It does not make sense where one… Read more »

5 years ago

Leader my foot!!!

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