Time to manage, save resources
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, congratulations are in order for Chemwaali JB on doing one or two more things right this week.
She has refused to fire Clerk of Parliament (CoP) Matilda Katopola on the basis of a shaky, unprocedural recommendation from the venerable Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). This is good. Not that we would like Katopola not to be relieved of her duties when her employers deem it fit; no. But, as we have always argued, systems and procedures must always be followed in whatever the State does.
The idea is to ensure that employees in the public service (and even those in the private sector) should be assured that as long as they tread the right labour path in executing their duties, they shall always be safe from uncouth, vengeful political hands that always seek to harass public servants, especially when governments change.
The good thing is that Treasury will not have to effect unnecessary payments to the unprocedurally fired staff, whose claims always go into substantial quantums. In the Katopola case, for instance, unofficial calculations by some hawkish Raw Stuffers have put her claim at not less than K900 million. And that is no small money. It is enough to effectively run scores of rural health centres for several years. It can also make a difference to Mzuzu University (Mzuni) which needs that figure to sort out its embarrassing financial gap.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, as regards the actual substance of the CoP-PSC job tenancy saga, we leave it to the competent authorities. So, too, is the matter of others such as Alex Nampota of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Perks Ligoya, formerly of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, etc; who we hear anafinyidwa because the new government cannot work with them?
Of course, some of the discarded fellows have fiscal and administrative issues to clear with their employers. But, even that needs to be addressed through appropriate mechanisms as per given contracts and conditions of service.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, Acheemwa also needs our salute for flying Air Malawi to Lilongwe when she went to preside over a function in the Capital in the week. That is the way to start cutting costs. The presidential jet or sentence of convoy that she normally uses could have guzzled our scarce resource: fuel.
But more, her use of Air Malawi helps to market our ailing airline which some textbook cohorts wanted disposed of, when the company is effectively an attractive venture as a going concern, and that it has potential to reverse its woes with such support and further investment.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, we believe JB should also go further, to cut her ministers fleet, as we have argued before. One Merc or four-wheeler is enough for each minister during a recovery budget season; and no touching of project or pool vehicles by the Cabinet ‘dogs’ as we often see. Their fuel expenses can also be cut, even by half. Where, we ask, does a minister require 25 000 litres of fuel per month as if they were corporate field managers?
On another note, JB also needs to know that it is high time she made an executive decision to cut on her TV/MBC appearances. She must not come to the point of her late predecessor and his government, amene anatikwana ngati katulutulu.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, the DPP faces and voices were a classic. The order on public airwaves was predictable: the Professor Moya or his dear wife, his brother or the Minister of Information and Civic Education; other DPP cadres and/or some obscure DPP MPs or local party ‘Karangas’.
To be raw, these guys anatilowa kukhosi; people had enough of them.
Today, when one tunes to MBC radio or TV, it is Chemwaali, Chemwaali and Chemwaali and her voice. The next thing you hear from people around you is: ‘Kodi akuti chani lero, ali kuti? [Where is Her Excellency today and what is she saying?]’
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, that is not a good impression with which to ice one’s so-called highly successful 100 days in office.
Of course, this is a result of her daily scheduled engagements which we, as cost-conscious and opportunity cost-sensitive Raw Stuffers, believe she can always delegate. Yes, she wants to brand every project in the Republic with her name and show she is working.
But our argument is that a good manager can also achieve the same through the myriad of cohorts at her disposal.