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Principal Secretaries warned for failing Cabinet ministers

Chief Secretary to Government George Mkondiwa has taken a swipe at some Principal Secretaries (PSs) who he accused of failing to service ministers with important information during the just-ended budget meeting of Parliament.

Apparently, Mkondiwa believes that the situation led to poor performance of the ministers in the august House.

According to Mkondiwa, the ministers complained to him about having a tough time answering questions and providing information in the House without the help of controlling officers.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on contract management on Thursday, Mkondiwa cautioned the PSs that government would not hesitate to fire any PS who is not delivering.

“I hope to see an improvement next time, your job is to make sure that the ministers have ready answers at all times. It’s common knowledge that you have to prepare programmes and offer support during such a time, especially during supplementary questions,” he said.

Mkondiwa further warned the group to pull up their socks, considering that retrenchments are imminent with the reform regime.

He said: “We are reducing the numbers; it’s just too many of us with only 19 ministers to serve. We need to protect our positions or else some of you might be forced to exit after being properly compensated. You should support the reform agenda and national development agenda.”

The Chief Secretary explained that contrary to media reports, they are 45 PSs in government and not 96, adding that by the end of the year, the number will have been reduced by six.

“We are committed to having the numbers commensurate with the number of ministers that we currently have. Some of them would have to retire while others will be re-engaged with the private sector. We are also offering a golden handshake to those who would want to retire,” said Mkondiwa.

Some weeks ago, government reshuffled three PSs, a move which saw Chimwemwe Banda being moved from Ministry of Information to The Department of Disaster Management Affairs where she replaced Paul chiunguzeni.

Banda has ben replaced by Justin Saidi, who has been moved from Ministry of Defence where Chiunguzeni has replaced him.

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