Chief Secretary to the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) Hawa Ndilowe says mismanagement of public funds in the civil service is a result of lack of adherence to values, ethics and integrity among civil servants.
Speaking in an interview in Lilongwe yesterday during the opening of high-level consultations on strengthening national integrity and accountability for principal secretaries and heads of constitutional bodies, Ndilowe said it is time civil servants reflected on their service.
Ndilowe said: “Civil servants should reflect on their values and ethics in as far as public funds management is concerned. There is moral decay in the civil service. These challenges have accumulated for many years and this is what made us into looting of public funds dubbed Cashgate.”
She also blamed civil servants for failing to blow a whistle in the Cashgate, saying in all discussions of the scam, there is no mention of a civil servant who stood courageously to report the plunder.
“No civil servant wanted to report the plunder, but they are in the same system. This shows lack of ethics and integrity,” said Ndilowe.
She said during one-party regime, the civil service was perfect, but things changed when Malawi adopted multiparty system. She said, therefore, there is need for government, civil service and other stakeholders to sit down and analyse what has gone wrong in the civil service.
The workshop has been organised by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) to improve management of public funds in the civil service.
In her speech, acting UNDP resident representative Carlo Flore-Smereczniak said Malawi needs a bold leadership that can rebuild the confidence of the public service following the Cashgate.
“The rebuilding of this confidence requires political will and bold leadership that can help create an ethical and accountable public service workforce; leadership that, when making decisions, asks itself “Is this the right thing to do?” and leadership that is a “role model” in holding everyone accountable,” said Flore-Smereczniak.