President Peter Mutharika has directed that women civil servants should not be dancing for politicians during working hours, saying they should dedicate their efforts to deliver in their official duties.
According to a statement issued by State Vice President Saulos Chilima on Saturday, the President has directed that women civil servants will only be allowed to perform at public functions which directly relate to their profession or organisation or at an event to commemorate an anniversary or celebration 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,” the statement reads.
The development comes after the Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU) and the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) condemned their members who were dancing at presidential functions during working hours.
Some women in the civil service, calling themselves Amayi a M’boma, were seen dancing for President Mutharika despite the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) in a 2012 memo discouraging the practice.
Mutharika has since decreed that no more waist jiggling, hip swinging and praise singing at presidential functions for female civil servants during working hours.
Former president Joyce Banda administration also ordered women civil servants not to dance during political meetings as contained in a circular dated May 9, 2012 which was signed by the then Chief Secretary to Government, Bright Msaka.
Government has requested the controlling officers to fully implement the directive.
Chief Executive Officers of Public institutions, Principal Secretaries and other senior public officers have also been banned in public public functios arguing that they will be considered based on their perfomance not on the number of appearance in public functions.
Chilima who is the chairperson of the Malawi Civil Service and Public Service Reforms Commission said Mutharika has directed that the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) be restructured by relocating some of its current functions to their relevant sectoral ministries.