US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer has asked for speedy implementation of public sector reforms, saying this is the best way to get Malawi out of its poverty trap.
Palmer said this in a special radio interview with Zodiak.
She also asked President Peter Mutharika to desist from making political appointments in the public service, saying only qualified and skilled Malawians can help the country fight poverty.
“Malawi is poor, very poor after 51 years of independence. But Malawi can do better if the reforms are implemented. This should e a matter of urgency,” said Palmer.
Palmer, however, noted that Malawi has made progress in financial prudence programmes and urged the government not to relax.
She advised the government to deal with the issue of ghost workers once and for all, saying this is a drain on the public purse.
The government is currently doing head count for each and every civil servant with an aim of identifying ghost workers.
Although the issue of ghost workers started soon after the 1994 multiparty elections, no one has so far been arrested or charged in connection with the swindling of public money through the creation of fake civil servants on government payroll.
Palmer commended the government for delegating one person to be in control of each government ministry and departments including payments, saying this would deter another occurrence of cashgate.