President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has hailed civil servants in the country for their hardworking spirit which he said has helped him transform the country.
Addressing Lady Civil Servants from across the Southern Region during a Cancer Awareness Campaign organised by The First Lady Professor Gertrude Mutharika at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, the Malawi leader said no country can be run without civil servants.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank you, all of you, for the great job you do for this country. It’s the civil servants who are building the infrastructure that we see. It’s the civil servants who are building the roads that we see. Most of you work for long hours to serve this country. I know that most of you don’t earn enough to satisfy the needs of your families. I know the sacrifices you make to serve your country.
“But I have a reason to thank you as civil servants of this country. Malawi is developing because of you. When I came to lead this country in 2014, the economy was broken. This country was almost bankrupt. Development had stopped. But you and I have turned around this economy together,” said Mutharika amidst standing ovation from the audience.
This is a series of such meetings the First Lady has been conducting across the country under the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV and Aids. (OAFLA).The first one was in Lilongwe recently.
BELOW IS THE CONTINUATION OF HIS ADDRESS
You and I have worked hard to fight floods and hunger to feed
Malawians in the first two years. We are building roads together. We are taking rural electricity to villages together. We are building hospitals together.
We are building community colleges together. Together, we are
developing this country. Together, we are building houses for vulnerable Malawians because we care.
Together, we are helping mothers to send their children to school with social cash transfer and public works because we care. Together, we are empowering the youth to buy motorbikes and improve transport in our villages.
Today, I want to thank you all. I want to thank the messengers,
cleaners, drivers, secretaries, various officers, Directors and Principal Secretaries because we all serve Malawi together.
I want you to know that everyone is important. No person is more important than another. Together, we have fought down inflation to the single digit and stabilized prices of commodities on every shelf, of every shop, in every community in this country.
Together, we have reduced interest rates in every bank for
teachers, nurses and policemen to be able to get a loan and pay back. And we are doing best to lower our interests further. Together we have created enough forex for men and women to go to South Africa, Tanzania and China to bring home businesses.
Malawi has improved its literacy levels because of the work our
teachers do. We have improved our security because of what our police men and women do. We have improved Malawi’s life expectancy from 37 years to 62 years because of what our health workers do.
As civil servants, you have always been there for Malawians. You have been there for me. And I will always be there for you. This is my promise. I promise what I do and I do what I promise.
I will make sure civil servants must have easy access to low
interest loans. As I speak, teachers are now collecting forms to get loans from MEDEF.
I will make sure civil servants should be able to own decent
houses. We have invited investors who should build low cost houses that you can rent and own after some time. This will be announced very shortly.
I want to give an opportunity to every civil servant to own a
house. We will make sure that the cost must be low because we will build factories to produce the housing materials in this country.
I have instructed the Chief Secretary to form a taskforce that must drive this program with speed.
We are already making progress in arranging to construct modern houses for our security officers. But I want us to create better housing conditions for all civil servants as well. In addition, we will make sure that Government must improve
civil service salaries as the economy improves.
This year, we have raised civil servants salaries with 10% average. I know this is not enough. But it is the beginning. And I promise to ensure that every year we should be raising salaries.
On a more specific note, I want to direct Government to review
entry point grades for our teachers. Let us do for our teachers what we did for our security forces.
Again, we are lifting the cap we put on promotions when we instituted austerity measures to improve the economy. Let us resume promoting civil servants. We are also resuming employment of civil servants. For example, we have started employing 10,000 primary school teachers and 500secondary teachers.
Finally, let me also inform you that we are starting recruitinginterns who have graduated from various universities and colleges. There are many graduates who are looking for jobs. They will work with you in your departments. Please welcomethem. Teach them patriotism, integrity and hardwork as you do.
I know how hard you work. My father was a teacher and I know how hard he worked. One of my sisters was a nurse and I know how hard she worked. My cousin was a police officer and I know how hard he worked. I know how hard you work.
Once again, I thank you.
May God Bless You All!
And God Bless Malawi!