President Chakwera’s anguish, warns lazy bones in public service: ‘This is new Malawi’

President Lazarus Chakwera has put all controlling officers for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies on notice that if they do not perform productively by the end of the year, they will be fired.

President Chakwera: Has warned to replace from job people who either sit around government offices doing nothing except drinking tea and gossiping -Photo by Lisa Kadango, Mana

Chakwera made the warning on  a special address to the nation on Thursday by laying bare his personal anguish following the mass leakage of this year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) papers as he  ordered the firing of top management for the country’s exam body, Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB), among other things.

Said Chakwera: “I stand before you in a state of anguish. The anguish I feel is the same that is felt by all of you regarding the pace of executing our collective agreement to clear the rubble from our governance system in order to refurnish it for the task of building a new Malawi.

“In short, I share your vexation at the lack of movement in the new direction I set for us when I took office four months ago.”

Chakwera maintained his commitment to “clear the rubble” from the governance system, saying is something that is not only a functional necessity, but also a matter of national urgency.

He said the necessity and urgency of  clearing the rubble  is now plain to see from the chaos that has recently ensued at Maneb.

“To have several secondary school exam papers leaked and the education of hundreds of thousands of students thrown off course is simply unacceptable.  Whatever the motives, this is clearly a deliberate act occasioned by elements of criminality, impunity, and negligence that cannot be allowed to continue,” said Chakwera visible furious.

Chakwera warned that if  any Ministry, Department, or Agency that has the “rubble of criminal elements” that does not produce a corrective action plan by the end of this month,  he will  have “no choice but to remove those in charge and find people who will get the job done.”

The President said clearing the rubble means removing from  state institutions those whose recruitment into public office did not comply with set procedures and regulations.

“Historically, such people found their way into public offices through political interference. This is probably the biggest rubble we have, especially in MDAs and other governance institutions. That is why I have been systematically assessing the controlling officers in these places to make the necessary changes.

“While a good number of Secretaries and Directors that fit into this category of improperly recruited rubble have already been removed and replaced, I can assure you that that work will continue for some time,” he said.

The Malawi leader said  clearing the rubble means removing from the  governance institutions those who have evidence against them of abuse of public office.

“Historically, this has happened in parastatals where office bearers have been abusing their public position either to advance personal interests or the interests of a political party. To set the stage for the clearing of this rubble of abuse of office, I suspended the boards of all parastatals within my first two weeks in office and ensured they were replaced within the first 100 days. It is therefore the job of each board to comb through its parastatal and identify this kind of partisan rubble and clear it,” said Chakwera.

President Chakwera further said another kind of rubble includes those in  the governance institutions  who are either incompetent or negligent of their duties.

“The Malawian people cannot be expected to keep paying through the nose to sustain the salaries and allowances of people who either sit around government offices doing nothing except drinking tea and gossiping or who do substandard work and have a substandard attitude towards the Malawians they serve and the service they provide.

“Incompetence and negligence are a cancer within the public service, and I expect controlling officers across the board to make the restoration of professionalism and hard work a top priority within their section. In some cases, this means relocating incompetent and negligent workers to other areas where they will be more useful or less harmful. In other cases, this means retraining staff to a new approach that upholds the highest standards of service to Malawians,” said the President.

He said in some sections, there is a need to come up with new policies and procedures to make the public service an environment where time-wasting and mediocrity are minimal.

“Those who tolerate mediocrity will themselves not be tolerated. We must set high standards and enforce them with respect, yet without apology,” he said.

Chakwera said he  expects all the newly appointed Ministers, parastatal boards, as well as the entire public service  to be mindful that Malawians voted for radical change and “have no appetite for nonchalance from any of us.”

The President said since he was elected in the court sanctioned fresh presidential election on June 23,  he has been “nauseated” by the number of people in the public service who have just carried on their business as usual, resisting change on the pretext that their approach is how government works.

“As far as I am concerned, this mindset shows zero respect for the will of Malawians who gave this President the mandate to bring sanity into government precisely because how government works has not been working. I am therefore putting all controlling officers for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies on notice: If by the end of this year, I find that you have not brought the affairs and people you oversee under control, or have not controlled your appetite for spending on things that add no value to Malawians, or have not increased your productivity, or are not enforcing the highest standards of work ethics, or have not depoliticised your approach to service, or are not implementing the policies Malawians mandated me to put into effect within your section, I will find someone else to do the job.

“I will not entertain any excuses, because my interest is not sustaining your inefficient and wasteful ways of doing things. This is the new Malawi, and in this  country, no one will be allowed to continue wasting time and resources on activities that produce no tangible results. You either get with the new program or get out of the way,” said the Malawi leader.

Chakwera swept into office on a wave of campaign promises of clean government and the creation of a million jobs and instituting a National Youth Service.  He has been battling to keep to his programme in the face of disastrous economic indicators.

President Chakwera defeated  Peter Mutharika  of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who had become increasingly unpopular and weighed down with accusations of corruption, while Chakwera and his running mate Saulos Chilima offered an alternative, more inclusive and honestly run Malawi.

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nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
1 year ago

we had had high ranked lazy whores and bastards .holding positions just to corrupt the country .too many unqualified staff bcoz are related to dpp gurus. bro to ben phili sanali ku japan on what office .his nephew anangotipeza ku ministry ya … abwana avekekele mpatseni ofesi iyi and kuina ayamba kusamba kuvala ma suit and the guy was cipwadza 100% we have seen aphuzitsi aku primary ali a PS ku ministry of gender omwe anathandiza kugula nao tippex ija. mai ooimbila mmanja pitala uja amalandila salary ya PS plus a fourtuner car. mai chimbalanga. nanga jomo ntopwa1 bangwe 1… Read more »

The Knight Templar
The Knight Templar
1 year ago

I fear the President is being reactive. Reactive and dangerously so. Much as he sees all things through political lens he needs to be sober enough to realize that the first thing to do was to thoroughly investigate and see where the problem is and then act accordingly. Firing the Maneb boss is just a political move not an administrative one. He might create more mess than before if not careful. And let’s stop scapegoating. DPP has nothing to do with these incompetence

Yonseyonse Sindyeka
Yonseyonse Sindyeka
1 year ago

The first thing is to fire the Minister of Reforms, he’s pace is rather too slow and has jaws that lacks the biting force.
Osazungulira iyayi, miyezi inayi misonkhano yokhayo ha no action to occasion practical change!
Uyu wa ma Reforms uyu akudziwa kuti olo alakwise zala ziloza Chakwela. Minister wayamba kuchotsedwa akhale Chilima apite kwa Nyalonje Ku Education!

harry
harry
1 year ago

Koma macadet, you mean pita left them to do what. very bad people inu. mufuna chakwera asiilire nyasi izi

Ntchindi Chimbika
1 year ago

The old saying goes “More haste less speed” Mr. Chakwera you rush into unnecessary decision that can destroy your carrier easily. It is better if you had borrowed a leaf from your predecessor Peter who found a Donor rejected government after the famous cashgate by Joyce Banda. Did he sweep everybody that he found was working in Banda’s administration? Absolutely noo! Why? He knew that experience is the best teacher. He used the same people groomed them into the right people and did the needful and ensured that Malawi kwacha never depreciated. He continued working with them to the effect… Read more »

Ngoni
Ngoni
1 year ago

This is not just a political problem. It is a pity that our leaders are leading us to think that it was all because of DPP, the so called cadets. Yes they may have their share but they are just a fraction of the problem. All the corrupt police are not DPP or cadets, from traffic officers to criminal investigation officers; all corrupt escom officers are not cadets. If Malawi and our leaders do not change the way we perceive and do things, we will always be disappointed. If we want the DPP to be the scale goat we will… Read more »

Mapopa
Mapopa
1 year ago
Reply to  Ngoni

Koma iwe nde wayankhula.Some civil servants have nothing to do with political parties koma are too corrupt. Nde china chilichonse tizingoti DPP, tisiya nazo mbava ziliphee muma office.

Bamusi
1 year ago

Good job Mr President, clear the rubble clear. This is the reason I voted for. Let’s make a clean Malawi, all cadets should be fired.

iyamw
iyamw
1 year ago

Without being partisan, in my analysis the talk was more of like a lion’s roar (a scare) without practical steps, mechanisms and strategies on how the administration is planning to implement the proposed measures. This an empty rhetoric, just like that used by Trump when he appealed to the masses by saying, Mexico will build the wall. Until today, he is even trailing in the presidential elections in the US, the US has not built the wall, and Mexico has never been involved. Unfortunately with Politicians, what was said by Chakwera yesterday has immediately gone with the wind. Malawians will… Read more »

WTF
WTF
1 year ago

Way to go Laz. The rubble needs to cleared thoroughly so that no traces should be found. Action time.

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
1 year ago

5 months down along the time, it is business as usual. We have seen new boards appointed, PSs and Directors shifted around and some constructively demoted and dismissed yet nothing has changed; it is business as usual.He may would want to get new policies and procedures written but he should also take note that where performance is lacking, policies and procedures are there. What then? There can only be one thing amongst others that may be lacking: Performance management system. In the absence of KPAs and KPIs cascaded all the way to the lowest clerk. There are so many enablers… Read more »

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