The civil service is, without doubt, the engine that propels the government’s operations— more so because human resources are at the heart of government operations.
On this premise, the civil service is supposed to exude honour, diligence, steadfastness in the delivery of services to humanity. Not in Malawi.
Instead of being the hallmark of respectability, some elements in the civil service have decided to drag the civil service in the mud of embarrassment by stealing the very things that keep them in employment. Which is ironic because, despite the pittance that they call pay, at least civil servants can boast that they get something at the end of the month.
Civil servants who are engaged in the not-so-honourable trade of thieving government properties should know that they have no place in the government system.
But, then, we blame the theft of government property such as donated laptops and vehicles on the laissez-faire attitude adopted by some civil servants and those who oversee the system. This is a sign that there is a breakdown in the system.
One of the factors leading to the breakdown is the politicisation of the civil service. Through political connections, people who are not qualified find themselves serving in managerial and supervisory roles in the government, which is a mockery to those who are qualified.
Just recently, Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, official shocked the nation when he said some civil servants who are not entitled to government vehicles repair their personal vehicles, and use government fuel, at the government’s expense, which qualifies for abuse of taxpayers’ money.
Moving forward, we would like to ask the Chief Secretary to the Government to take a leading role in tightening the screws. We cannot continue to treat civil servants— we mean, the few bad apples that steal the government’s property—as a loose canon.
We believe that the public sector reforms are meant to bring order to government operations. One of the areas that will show that the reforms have borne fruit is an end to abuse of public resources.
A chaotic system is bound to fail.
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