Misunderstandings Over Employment, Promotions Erupt in Civil Service
There is growing resentment in the corridors of the civil service where top technocrats are questioning a sudden pattern of what they call “unprocedural employment, promotions and redeployments”.
The technocrats, who include top civil servants, accuse Office of President and Cabinet of being in the fore of the civil service management disparities which they say are already affecting quality service delivery.
The fears of the politicization of the civil service come following allegations that some taskforce is recruiting party followers and relations into ministries, departments and agencies without interviews.
The officials are saying the quality of operations in the civil service is fast taking a plunge and affecting quality of public service.
“The problems that we are facing are solvable. But we suspect that the president is not being told the truth or some truths are being kept away from him. He hinted on that at a funeral in Dedza. If we are going to do the right things, we shall surmount our problems,” says one Controlling Officer.
They say laid down systems and procedures are being by-passed by a new system they allege is running parallel to the official civil service radar of public service authority.
There are reports that OPC has been recruiting civil servants on posts from Grade F and below which should, legally be in the realm of the Public Service Commission and who are expected to undergo open interviews after publication of interviews.
Zodiak has a list of 100 names of people allegedly recruited in such a manner in June, alone.
And while the OPC can recruit servants from Grade E upwards, it can only be through a particular process, usually promotions, but that has not been the case with some cases.
“The solution is with the Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Colleen Zamba) If there is no tangible action to bring back professionalism in civil service employment matters, the problems that we are seeing in government could get worse.
“The civil service should not be politicized,” another Controlling officer said.
But Zodiak was privy to communication bearing the signature of SPC Colleen Zamba dated Feb 27th instructing Department of Human Resource Management and Development (DHRHD) to take this approach to recruitment of some public officers without strict observance of procedures.
The developments have also resulted in the recruitment of too many PSs to the extent no one knows who is answerable to who, according to some of the top civil service officers.
While the civil service now has close to 70 PSs against about 25 ministries, civil service reforms recommend fewer number of controlling officers to avert confusion in operations
Senior public service officers that we have spoken to say there is growing resentment in the public service where, for example, Director expecting promotions to upper grades either have juniors becoming their supervisors or outsiders hired as controlling officers.
Controlling officers that we have tried to interview about this refused to referring us to DHRMD.