Our government is mostly dysfunctional. It is an organization that first of all engages with itself. It keeps itself going, but the primary function of government seems to be mostly forgotten: services to the population.
- Security? Low standard
- Judicial system: s l o o o o w and low standard
- Education: low standard
- Health care: low standard
- Administrative services like passports, drivers licenses, permits, registrar general etc: low standard
Now if government is so concerned with itself, you would expect the organizational standard to be high. But the opposite is the case: the administration is so chaotic that donor after donor withdraws because their funds are not traceable.
A number of years ago Malawi was called a failed state. We all felt that was over the top and premature. But since then the standard of governance has only deteriorated. A government that does not serve the population, but that keeps itself going at the cost of the populations tax payments without rendering the services the population is entitled to is called a predatory state: the state predates on us, and does not give anything worthy in return.
When coming into office, Vice President Saulos Chilima started working on the issue: the Civil Service Reform Programme. But before long it got obstructed and hijacked and it became no more than an Increased Revenue Collection Programme (squeezing more money out of the tax payer). And of course the donor initiated programmes were also put under the umbrella, like the unbundling of Escom. For this the Millenium Challenge Corporation paid a lot of money, but again the administration was so bad that they stopped funding. Anyway, government calls this donor programme “civil service reform” (while Escom is not Civil Service, it is a para statal, but who cares? Not this government.)
After a year Chilima got totally side tracked by the DPP elite, and now he has zero power left. The civil service is not being reformed to render services to us, the tax payer.