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Education Ministry kicks out directors

Chikondi Chimala

Benedicto Kondowe

The government has moved all Ministry of Education (MoE) directors to other sectors of public service, a development commentators say is a blow to the education sector.

The reshuffled directors include Samson Macjessie Mbewe, Director of Higher Education, who has recently returned to Chancellor College; Hillary Namainja, now Director of Administration in the Ministry of Environment; Rhodwell Mzonde, Director of Education Planning, who has been redeployed to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Gossam Mafuta, who was Director of Basic Education, is heading to Domasi College of Education and Ruth Samati-Kambali, Director of Secondary Education, is going to Nalikule College of Education as lecturer.

Recently, the government redeployed Nairet Molande, who was Deputy Director at the ministry to Malawi Institute of Education.

However, MoE spokesperson Chikondi Chimala said the issue of redeployment of senior staff was contractual in nature, as it involved employer (the government) and employee.

He could also not tell whether the officers have been replaced or their redeployment was simply part of clearing the rubble.

“You may wish to talk to OPC [Office of the President and Cabinet],” Chimala said.

However, Civil Society Education Coalition Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe said the move could be an indication of the government’s lack of strategic direction.

“While people employed in the public service can be transferred or redeployed at any time, it is worrying that the massive transfers at MoE have affected all key directorates, namely basic education, secondary education, policy and planning as well as administration. This is also coming at a time the ministry is expected to lead in the Ministry of Education’s Covid response,” Kondowe said.

He said such changes create unnecessary gaps in systems.

“Furthermore, these transfers signal that the government does not mind about the significance of institutional memory and continuity issues in any vibrant institution,” he added.

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