Chilima report tells Chakwera to merge ministries, fire deputy ministers

The report compiled by a taskforce led by Vice President Saulos Chilima says President Lazarus Chakwera should merge some ministries, fire deputy ministers and ensure that Members of Parliament do not double as ministers.

Chilima’s report was presented to Chakwera last week but the president has kept the report under wraps saying the recommendations are not in the public interest.

Chakwera’s cabinet has 23 ministers and eight deputies but the report, which has been leaked, says some ministries should be merged to cut costs.

It says principal secretaries should “deputise a minister when the minister is not available instead of having deputy ministers.” t also recommends that Members of Parliament must not double as ministers.

On corruption, the Chilima led taskforce recommends the increase of funding to the anti-corruption bureau by 400 percent to ensure corruption cases are speedily prosecuted.

The report further calls for the removal of the need for consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions when prosecuting cases.

On Civil servants, the report says the minimum salary should be K300,000 and there should be introduction of a national pension scheme authority and a Civil Service Medical Scheme authority.

It also recommends the monthly audit of government departments and that civil servants must declare assets every 6 months.

Other recommendations include commercialization of some state lodges (eg Chikoko Bay and Zomba) into hotels to create jobs and boost local businesses; commercialization of the prison service so that they can use skills such as engineers, to raise funds through construction and other projects and repurposing of Ngulu ya Nawambe into a specialist hospital treating cancer, kidney issues and others, and building staff houses for medics within the compound.

Chakweras spokesperson Brian Banda said on Monday that the president will make decisions based on the report and will tell Malawians about the decisions.

The Chilima-led taskforce was formed after Chakwera ordered the Vice President to comprehensively review the three Government systems of allowances, procurement, and employment contracts.