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Chaos in Civil Service

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Malawi government is flouting its own rules and requirements of having only one top civil servant on grade A as three officials, namely George Mkondiwa, Hawa Ndilowe and Lloyd Muhara are enjoying such a status and benefits.

Mkondiwa, who is former Chief Secretary to Government and retired last year after attaining government mandatory age of 60 years, was offered a new contract and is now heading to India as High Commissioner on the same grade A.

Ndilowe, who was unceremoniously removed from her position as Secretary to Government soon after President Peter Mutharika assumed the reigns of power in 2014, was redeployed to Tanzania to serve as High Commissioner and is also enjoying grade A benefits.

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Government officials Tuesday kept referring the issue to one another but were noncommittal.

But an impeccable source at Capital Hill, who opted for anonymity, confided in The Daily Times that there is now confusion in the system adding that things are chaotic because appointments are being made haphazardly.

“The last time a similar situation arose was when former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, came to power in 2004. We had Bright Msaka as Chief Secretary and [Charles] Matabwa at State House both on grade A. But it was soon realised that it couldn’t work and it had to be abandoned. You see, the same anomaly is also happening in grade C, as there are more Principal Secretaries (PSs) than establishments. Some are being given titles of Chief Directors but still getting the same perks of a PS,” the source said.

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According to the source, this is one critical area that the ongoing public reforms, championed by Vice President Saulosi Chilima, needs to seriously, look at and rectify if the reforms are to be deemed successful.

In an emailed response, Spokesperson for the Department of Human Resources Management and Development, Rudo Kayira, said the appointments are made under Office of the President and Cabinet. Kayira referred the matter to Director of Public Affairs in OPC, Gray Mang’anda, who in a brief response said the issue was administrative in nature and said Principal Secretary for Administration in OPC, Clement Chinthu Phiri, was better placed to comment.

But Chinthu Phiri in an interview refused to comment saying even though the issue is within his jurisdiction, he was uncomfortable to comment as the matter involves his seniors. He referred the issue to newly appointed government Spokesperson Nicholas Dausi.

Said Dausi: “Show me the law and act that only one person is supposed to be on grade A. Can you recite that restriction for me? Because only after that, can I comment on this.”

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