Chakwera challenges Principal Secretaries to help in fixing broken systems

President Lazarus Chakwera this morning had a meeting with all Malawi Government Principal Secretaries at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where he challenged them to do more in fixing what he described as broken systems in civil service.

Chakwera told the Principal Secretaries that they need to be tough with people, honest and committed to Malawi’s transformation if they are to be successful in bringing the changes needed to deal with bad cultures that have made things worse in civil service.

Chakwera speaking during the meeting

“The reason I had my Secretary assemble you last week in preparation for meeting me today is because the broken systems I want fixed are controlled by you, because as Principal Secretaries, you are the Controlling Officers of our Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies. You are the ones who control the Civil Service, and the fact that the Civil Service is broken and in urgent need of fixing means that the task of fixing it rests on you.

“My task is to give you direction on what you must focus on and to engage in continuous evaluation of whether you have what it takes to fix a government system as broken as ours is,” said Chakwera.

During the meeting, Chakwera pledged his support to the Principal Secretaries, only if they deliver in line with his vision.

He further stressed that the Malawi 2063 agenda will not be achieved if these controlling officers are not committed to their job.

“Through my office at Capital Hill, I am determined to do everything I can to support you and set you up for success, and I am just as determined to not entertain any attitudes or behaviors from the Civil Service that are designed to make us fail.

“The bottom line is that the Civil Service has been out of control for far too long, and you are the Controlling Officers I am trusting to help me change that. You will need to be tough with people, you will need to be honest, and you will need to be brave. It will feel like an uphill battle at first, but you will be proud to see the change and the impact it has on all Malawians. I want you to know I believe in you. Together, we can be the change we want,” said Chakwera.

Speaking at the meeting, Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Colleen Zamba, said several decades ago, Malawi’s civil service was renowned for ethical conduct, dedication to duty and discipline, a glory which was lost and she called upon the principal secretaries to help Chakwera fulfil his agenda.

During the meeting, the President directed that the PSs will from today onwards meet the Secretary in the office of the President and Cabinet on a monthly basis and be subjected to appraisals every quarterly.

Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies have a total of 37 Principal Secretaries.

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