There has been a minor shake-up in the civil service as President Peter Mutharika has made some changes to top technocrats with convicted principal secretaries (PS) to Treasury Cliff Chiunda removed from his post, Nyasa Times understands.
Chunda has been relocated to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) where is deputy chief secretary to government.
He remains in the civil service despite a court ruling recommending their removal.
Grey Nyandule-Phiri PSs to Agriculture is also another convict who is also spared from the sack.
The High Court on March 6 this year slapped the two with a 24-months suspended sentence for contempt of court. They were found guilty of defying an order by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal to make a public apology for a faulty procurement and disposal of 100 tractors and 144 maize shellers–a deal popularly known as Tractorgate.
The equipment was bought in 2011 with a $50 million (about K37 billion) loan from Exim Bank of India.
In his ruling, High Court judge Charles Mkandawire observed that by disobeying the court order, the two PSs challenged the authority of the Judiciary, which is another arm of government, and the court asked the appointing authority for consideration that the two should no longer hold such high positions.
According to the ruling, what the two public officers committed was a serious breach and violation of Section 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, which the court noted the law also applies to the President who can be removed from office if he violets the Constitution.
A few Principal Secretaries (PSs) have been affected by the shake-up in the civil service to inculcate a spirit of performance which the President announced in January this year.advances.