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Government warns chief executive officers

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Comptroller of Statutory Corporations, Stuart Ligomeka, has warned chief executive officers (CEOs) in government -owned companies to conform to public service reforms that are underway or face the chop.

Ligomeka spoke over the weekend in Mangochi District during a consultative meeting the department had with CEOs and heads of human resource departments from statutory corporations across the country.

“If you know a water board or Escom employee who frustrates service delivery, report them. Whether you came through interviews or appointments, the train will drop you,” he said.

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Ligomeka also bemoaned tendencies among some CEOs in parastatals who, he said, recruit people without considering capacity of their organisations.

“Failure to comply with government policies will not be condoned. Some of you think that you are in private sector and you want to do things your own way…This meeting is meant to stop that,” he said.

Turning to heads of human resource departments Ligomeka asked them to follow government policies and procedures to avoid bloating their wage bills.

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“When we say that there will be a 15 percent increment, the increment should be on the wage bill and not on salaries of individuals. Awarding increments across the board demotivates hard workers while encouraging laziness. Increments and rewards must be based on performance; so, are sanctions,” he said.

The chief of government companies also told the participants that acquisition of higher qualification, while on the job, does not warrant an immediate promotion.

“There are minimum and maximum qualifications for every position. If the job requires somebody with a diploma and the person gets a bachelor’s degree, they should wait and compete for openings within or outside the organisation.

“We have a problem that employees reach the bar (in salary scale band) within two years and you come to us for advice or go to (Ministry of) Finance for extra funding. In the civil service, you may find professional officers with PhDs and not everyone becomes a PS [Principal Secretary]. We follow procedures,” he said.

In an interview on the sidelines of the meeting, Ligomeka said he meant what he said.

“It’s already happening. We have already cautioned a few boards who have, in turn, warned their CEOs. There have been cases of inconsistencies in management and handling of salaries and benefits. Government funds are meant to serve Malawians and not enrich a few people,” he said.

The consultative meeting, which attracted over 100 participants, was themed ‘Embedding the Human Capital’s Vision and Values of the Renewed State Corporations’ Excellence’.

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