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Government overhaul report Friday

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Lazarus Chakwera

Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is Minister of Public Sector Reforms, is this Friday expected to present to President Lazarus Chakwera recommendations by a taskforce mandated to overhaul the government system.

A statement from the Office of the Vice President says Chilima would present the report to Chakwera at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

The statement says the 14-member taskforce, which was appointed on February 19 and given 90 days to come up with recommendations, has completed its work.

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Meanwhile, Centre for Research and Consultancy Director Milward Tobias has said he expects the report to have solid recommendations.

Tobias said he hoped that, after the overhaul, public servants would be able to report through the Secretary to the President and Cabinet without fearing negative repercussions.

“In addition, all grades in the Civil Service should be attained through a competitive process. Again, the law should be amended to remove the power of the President on issues such as appointment of deputy director and above in public institutions,” Tobias said.

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Speaking on February 14 this year, Chakwera said if Malawi were to root out the problem of waste, abuse and theft of public resources, citizens needed to admit that these are behaviours that have poisoned the values of the nation and have corroded the entire government system.

He then ordered Chilima to review government systems and submit recommendations for their overhaul within three months.

“The recommendations must include any legislative changes we must make in our laws at one of the meetings of Parliament this year so that our laws protect the interests and resources of the public, not the rubble of public servants who use broken systems to loot and use bad laws and contracts to keep their jobs in the system and keep looting.

“The recommendations must also include a restructuring of the Civil Service to be more efficient and of civil servants’ conditions of service so that the good people in the system are well supported and not able to use poor pay as an excuse for wasting, abusing and stealing public resources.

“This systemic review and overhaul will be resisted by so many who are benefitting from the looting, including greedy politicians from all our political parties, greedy businesses from the private sector and greedy civil servants they partner with inside the machinery,” Chakwera said.

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