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Vice-President tough on reforms

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Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, has threatened to fire heads of parastatal organisations that are not performing as he champions the change of work ethic in government ministries, departments and agencies.

Tuesday, Chilima had a meeting with heads of parastatals and government agencies in Lilongwe where he was being appraised on the implementation of the public reforms which are being implemented in the institutions.

The Vice-President, who spearheaded the implementation of the reforms while in the Peter Mutharika administration but had the responsibility taken away from him in 2017, has since requested reports from the parastatals by Friday next week.

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“What we have basically done is to get all the parastatals and organisations an assignment to do, review where they are, their financial health and also share with us plans from reforms perspective as well as from general business perspective and submit by next week Friday, noon.

“We will do the same with other parastatals in Blantyre and Mzuzu as we look into the financial budget and future development plans of the country,” he said.

Chilima told journalists after the meeting that underperformance will not be entertained and that in extreme cases, some parastatal heads will have to face the consequences.

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“We want to make sure that we implement fully what we will agree. We will monitor and assess the performance and we have said it that there will be consequences. If people are not performing, obviously they must be shown the exit door because we want to have competent people so that service delivery improves,” he said.

The Vice-President also wrote on his Facebook page that the tendency of transferring Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) must be reviewed, arguing that if one is incompetent in one organisation, they cannot become competent in another parastatal.

One of the participants, CEO for Lilongwe City Council, John Chome, said the institutions have been reminded of their mandate to effectively deliver good-quality public services

“For us to do that, we need to have institutional capacity and resources. So our reforms at city level are focusing on how we can mobilise resources to deliver adequate public services. We also need to make sure that our processes are simple, cost effective and not punitive to the public,” Chome said.

Government launched the public reforms programme in 2015, with the aim of improving public service delivery.

During the campaign period ahead of the June 23 court-ordered presidential election where Chilima and leader of the Tonse Alliance Lazarus Chakwera emerged winner, the Vice- President repeatedly said some heads of parastatals were abusing resources and that the Tonse Alliance government would go after them.

He also warned those who were allegedly funding the then governing party, Democratic Progressive Party, that they would be personally held liable for their actions which he charged bordered on criminal conduct.

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