United States of America (USA) Ambassador Virginia Palmer has advised the Malawi Government to fire anyone in public service resisting public sector reforms.
Speaking in an exclusive interview on her government’s perception on Malawi’s public sector reforms, Palmer said: “If people resist public sector reforms, I would like to see them get fired, that is what needs to happen at this stage… We are at a stage where this is the President’s policy. If you are not on that wagon, you need to get off the wagon. You need to find another job.”
The reforms are being touted as a President Peter Mutharika legacy-shaping blue print to clean up the public service, make it more responsive, accountable and effective to support economic growth and development.
One of the success stories of the programme so far has been the reduction of principal secretaries (PSs) in government from 96 to 20—a move that donors have lauded, but which some people within Capital Hill are unhappy with.
Apart from reducing the number of the controlling officers in ministries, Capital Hill has also put a freeze on hiring of new PSs while letting go those that are retiring – a decision that will see lean government machinery with more savings.
“I am passionate about public sector reforms and I am a big cheer leader for President Mutharika’s programmes… But I think getting public sector reforms right is key to improving Malawi’s investment climate. It is key to making Malawi more prosperous and making the Malawi government more efficient.”
The US envoy said she would like to see more politicians talking about the reforms and more civil servants championing the President’s policy as the only way to make Malawi prosperous.
In its history, Malawi has made a record 80 attempts to reform and revamp the public service to achieve efficiency.
To set the reforms into motion Cabinet ministers and controlling officers of pioneer ministries and government departments signed performance contracts with the President outlining reform areas they would undertake and the period of implementation.