Sunday, April 6, 2008

Nepotism, croynism and Malawi job market

The Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) has moved so swiftly to invalidate results of interviews for Accounts Assistants to work in the Accountant General's Department. It has also dissolved the Appointments and Disciplinary Committee in the Department. This is a very bold step that governmnet has taken and I wish they could move even further to various departments that draw resources from tax payer funds.

This thing of recruiting your children, girlfriends, relatives, comrades and home boys has become so rampant in our public services. It appears to be the first qualification to get a public job followed by one's papers. I would rather let OPC take even more punitive steps and the rules of public service apply to curtail such a malpractice. The same applies applies to how people are promoted in the civil service. One can simmply attest to the high staff turnovers in the public service due to unfairness in the way staff are rewarded. All these cancers must be put to a stop if this country is going to move an inch forward. Such practices belong to the uncivilised and mediaval candevers and have no place in 21st Century Malawi.

The main cost of nepotism in its various forms, is that it rewards mediocrity and condemns ability. It smacks unfairness because eligible Malawians are denied a job opportunity or a promotion because they dont have a relative or some other rousy connection in the system. The civil service is not a family business but for all of us as Malawians and no pig headed fool must think they own it. Rewarding mediocrity by recruting or giving favours to cronies affects productivity through staff morale, unquestioned absenteesim and more important depriving the public service of more qualified and technically sharp brains.

Just like the Daiy Times notes in its comment, organisations like the Police, Army and Prisons are family organisations. You would rarely get into these insitutions if a family member has never worked in them. This is what we must stop and it is happening in almost all civil service organisations. People manadated to do the recruitment have never declared interests. This must apply just as it does in the Public Finance Management Act and Procurement Laws. It must be halted.

As a country we need to move forward and become so open to talk about these malpractices. We need to blow whistles where ever we can. The main winner if such practices are put to a stop is a prosperous Malawi for our children and grand children as they will have the incentive to work hard in class.

This practice is also very rampant in the privatr sector and civil society organisations. The costs to our country are too great to be ignored.

No comments: