….Cabinet changes expected after IMF mission
.…Zamba accused of filling Civil Service with loyalists
As contracts for most political appointees come to an end, Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba is said to be consolidating her grip of the public service by filling them with personal loyalists.
And some officials close to the MCP power base are now moving around claiming President Lazarus Chakwera will soon make changes to his cabinet.
The initial appointments were done between August 2020 to 2021 by the OPC in consultation with the state House, MCP officials and others, but our source at the OPC says Curriculum Vitaes are coming from “somewhere” and memos deployed to President Lazarus Chakwera for approval.
It is not clear as to whether President Chakwera is aware of the links of several appointees he has officially made, but as in most cases the President seems to be surfing through memorandums without checking their implications.
Who is out, who is staying at OPC
SPC Zamba is the main player, just like her predecessors, in recruitment and promotion of Directors and Principal Secretaries in Government Departments and Ministries.
Secretaries for Foreign Affairs Benard Sande and Human Resources Blessings Chilabades contracts ended, but insiders say there were applications to extend their contracts by six months.
We could not verify if they have been approved as Mr Sande was out of the country while Mr Chilabade has been attending meetings as Secretary for Human Resources as late as last week.
A new comer to Civil Service, Ian Chingwalu who is said to have taken a sabbatical at Pan African Parliament is said to be earmarked for the Secretary for Human Resources position.
The OPC itself has a number of vacant positions of Principal Secretaries but they are yet to be filled with a new comer Goodwin Kaonongela being appointed as PS. He is said to have worked with Zamba in Zambia when he was at Comesa.
Vincent Sikelo, who was Government Contracting Unit Head, is out of office. Others claim he was a stumbling block to some deals that he might have stepped on powerful people’s toes.
“He saved Malawians on many many fronts. He saved billions,” one of his allies told The Investigator Magazine.
Anthony Bendulo, Director of Technology and Innovation, who came into limelight during the 2019 Presidential Elections as a tech witness is serving his notice after he resigned in July. His last day is 30th September 2023, according to a letter we have been made privy.
Chikondano Musa, Secretary for Education is being posted to Gender after Civil Service outsiders filled Directors of Administration and Procurement roles alleged to be allies of the SPC.
The Investigator Magazine is already looking into allegations that a Steven Chikopa who Chairs Internal Procurement Committee issued Request for Quotations for vehicle servicing contrary to Public Procurement law.
Zamba is already said to have stuffed her loyalists in dozens of Ministries and Agencies with reports indicating that most of those recruited are performing below Civil Service standards.
Our source said the SPC could be preparing for “unknown” future as she has embarked on inspecting public works projects which none of her predecessors has ever done.
“It is abit awkward, because after the inspection who does she report to, if there are issues, does she write to the Minister responsible or the President? The President gets reports from the Minister’s, she is creating an ambiguous system nobody has ever seen in Civil service,” observed a senior servant at Capital Hill.
Others suggest she is setting the ground for political network where she will have allies in all Ministries and Departments to do her bidding.
Others suggest the next Cabinet reshuffle she could get rid some of the Minister’s who have been allegedly fighting for her removal.
Reshuffle after IMF Mission
President Lazarus Chakwera is said to be already thinking of changing his cabinet seven months after he appointed a new one.
The new cabinet seemed to be as clueless as the fired one, as hunger, corruption and the economy continue to worsen.
A close ally of President Chakwera told The Investigator Magazine the reshuffle could happen soon before or after the IMF mission.
Chakweras cabinet ministers have been defending one corruption scandal after another as the country is still looking for answers to the current economic crisis.
The Investigator Magazine 7 month Cabinet Perfomance Review will be published this Sunday, 3rd of September, 2023.