Professor Mutharika made the appeal at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe during the launch of Public Finance Management Reform Program.
Professor Mutharika expressed sadness over the mindset of most civil servants which is now bent on acquisition of personal material gains from their official positions, unlike in the past when Malawi’s civil service was envied in the Southern Africa region for its dedication, efficiency, discipline and integrity.
Professor Mutharika said more civil servants no longer take the protection of public resources as an accomplishment of their duty towards society instead they resort to plundering public resources at the expense of rural poor people.
“As Malawians we should be embarrassed of the current court proceedings of the cashgate cases because of what some selfish and unpatriotic civil servants did in plundering public money.” Said Mutharika.
President Mutharika further disclosed that a study has highlighted a number of factors that have brought down the civil service to a point where cashgate could be tolerated within the government system even at the highest levels.
“One of the factors is the continued and ever growing culture of non compliance of laws, rules and regulations that govern management of public resources particularly by those entrusted with managing resources.” He said.
Mutharika also cited lack of supervision and negligence of duty by senior officials has also fuelled financial fraud.
“There have been for instance, occasions when units in a Ministry or a government Department have congregated to plan how money can be shared through fraudulent travels. Although senior people were aware, they did nothing to prevent the malpractices.”
Mutharika disclosed that among other things, it seeks to train civil servants on the new reform program and why it is necessary.
Mutharika also said in order for the accounting staff to comply with financial laws, rules and regulations, government will conduct courses at the Malawi Institute of Management – MIM and the courses will be attended by staff at various levels so that they can be conversant with financial procedures to guide them in their work.
The Malawi leader also disclosed that the Central Internal Auditing Service is being reformed as a compliance tool of the government.
The process will see the introduction of qualified internal auditors from the private firms in 10 large ministries to train official internal auditors and establish proper internal auditing practices.