Newly-appointed Secretary to President and Cabinet (SPC) Colleen Zamba has spelled out her priorities for the office which include taming a culture of allowances and lakeshore meetings in the civil service to achieve optimal use of resources.
The SPC has also pledged to be holding monthly and quarterly meetings with all principal secretaries and ensure that the officials are delivering on their set targets of performance and accountability or risk facing unspecified action.
Zamba outlined her priorities to journalists on Friday at State House in Lilongwe after she took her oath of office and allegiance at a function President Lazarus Chakwera presided over.
She said within the first seven days she will hold meetings with PSs followed by all chief executive officers of parastatals and a selected group of development partners.
Said Zamba: “We will not allow that every small function should be held in Salima or Mponela. I was part of the team that conducted the Presidential Delivery Labs meetings for four weeks at BICC. We never went to the lake for such meetings. So I will look into these issues and make sure that people don’t just fuel government vehicles and go to Salima just to get allowances.”
The new SPC explained that she will realign the civil service to the vision of Chakwera and ensure that the promises of job creation, wealth creation and food security come to fruition.
Said Zamba: “I will be reviewing the targets every quarter, I will not wait untill end of the year because, why should someone be there doing nothing and by December I should realize that the person has done nothing? If someone is refusing to change or meet the targets then it means he or she is not fit for the job.”
In his remarks earlier, Chakwera challenged Zamba to overcome the deep-rooted wrongs in the public sector by being courageous, humble and strong.
Chakwera observed that there are some cartels of selfish Malawians who want to keep exploiting poor Malawians and urged the new SPC to fight such forces.
He said: “It requires a person of great humility, because you are tasked with ensuring that the outcome of all your actions is improved service to Malawians, even if it means becoming unpopular with those who are satisfied with delivering poor service to Malawians.”