Following the economic meltdown the country is going through, the Malawi Government under Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration will start retrenching thousands of civil servants next year as part of its strategy to reduce ballooning salary bills that are threatening its financial stability, Malawi24 can reveal.
It is understood that the number of government staff has risen in the past years, a development that is threatening the country’s economic situation.
A source said government has already written its departments that it will implement the exercise starting early next year and thousands of public servants will lose their jobs as the government tightens the screws to tame the bills.
A job freeze will also be imposed in the health sector which will see government maintaining only 200 registered nurses across the country.
According to the source, government has already written District Health Officers (DHO) about the exercise.
This is part of the government’s drive to cope with the current cash crunch. Confiding in this reporter, he added that government is also expected to stop paying all civil servants who have gone for further studies in all its departments.
“All those who have opted to further their studies have to know that they will be removed from the payroll. As for the nurses, locum will be abolished and that more of them will be retrenched. Government will be maintaining only 200 registered nurses,” he explained.
When contacted, Chief Secretary to Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) George Nkondiwa asked for more time to respond as he was out of the country.
“I can’t give the interview now because I am out of the country and it is expensive for me. We can discuss this when am in the country,” he said.
Efforts to speak to government spokesperson Jappie Mhango proved futile as his phone couldn’t be reached.
Many of those who will lose their jobs are in positions made redundant by the government.
They include those in Agriculture, Health, Education and local government.
The government is also phasing out civil servants employed on month to month basis saying their services are no longer in tandem with the current situation.
When asked on how much government has cracked down following head count exercise, Spokesperson in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Nations Msowoya said the exercise is still ongoing and that the figures will be given for public consumption once completed.
The assessment which aims at tracing ‘ghost workers’ will also render hundreds of Malawians in the public service jobless.
The development is targeting those who were employed without proper procedures.
Stated Msowoya: “Head count is still going on and as of now we don’t have the actual statistics. Once done all data will be compiled together for people to know.”
Malawi’s economic growth is projected to be 5.5% whereas growth momentum is expected to resume in 2016, with projected growth of 5.7%.
This will only happen assuming there is improved investor confidence in DPP rule, favorable weather conditions, higher agricultural exports, lower inflation and moderate interest rates.
As a way of gaining the confidence of Malawians, President Peter Mutharika is running up and down to find all means of stabilizing the Kwacha.