Malawi’s ruling PP backpedals on threats to civil servants

Malawi’s ruling People’s Party (PP) says it does not subscribe to the threats by its Central Province governor Kizito Ngwembe to dismiss civil servants deemed affiliated to opposition parties.

Ngwembe speaking during a rally to commemorate President Joyce Banda’s one year in office at Masintha ground in Lilongwe on Sunday said some civil servants and officials in the Judiciary were being “ungrateful and abuse the freedom given by the current government” by sympathising with the opposition.

He threatened that if Banda would not move to fire the concerned civil servants, he would lead PP officials to Capital Hill to kick out civil servants allegedly supporting opposition parties.

“Even in heaven, God expelled Satan. So, why should you [the President] spare them? Right here, among the PP youth and other departments [of the party], we have people who are qualified enough to work in the Judiciary or at Capital Hill!” said Ngwembe.

Ngwembe: Stick to his remarks
Ngwembe: Stick to his remarks

His comments were not censured  by senior PP officials who spoke at the rally, including the President.

But after the Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU) leadership expressed concerns about safety and job security for government employees, the ruling party has disowned the remarks.

The Nation quoted  PP secretary general Henry Chibwana saying that the statement should be looked at as a personal view that people should not be afraid of.

“If what was said is true [that civil servants are engaging in partisan politics], it means that it has to be investigated to establish the authenticity of such a statement before any action is made against any civil servant. We have to really establish who is obstructing what; as such, people need not fear,” Chibwana said, as quoted by the paper.

But Ngwembe stood by his remarks, saying what he said was a fact, according to what the paper quoted him.

“Those who are in doubt and want evidence they can find me, I can reveal who these people are. There are indeed people who are working against this government and that is my position and the position of the party in the Central Region,” said Ngwembe, who once served as member of Parliament for Kasungu South East under the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

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