LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi’s influential quasi-religious bodies – the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM)– have expressed delight at the firing of Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi.
PAC and ECM have been pressing President Lazarus Chakwera to dismiss Chikhosi from employment for alleged incompetence involvement in dubious deals, among other reasons.
Chakwera finally acted on their request on Tuesday this week.
In his address to the nation on Tuesday after returning from his official trips in Davos, Switzerland, and Guinea, President Chakwera announced that the replacement of Chikhosi with Colleen Zamba, a move that has delighted PAC.
PAC publicity secretary Bishop Gilford Matonga told The Maravi Post that by firing the former SPC, President Chakwera had demonstrated that “he is indeed a listening President.”
“We are very glad that the President has acted the way we asked him to do. This shows Chakwera is the listening President that Malawians have always wanted to have,” reacted Matonga.
On his part, ECM General Secretary Father Dr. Henry Saindi said the Catholic Bishops in Malawi are excited with Chakwera’s heeding of their call to relieve Chikhosi of his duties.
“You might recall that one of the issues of concern raised in the Bishops’ March 2022 Pastoral Letter was inefficiency of the Office of the President and Cabinet. They called on the Head of State to review performance, competency and suitability of the people manning OPC and that decisive action should be taken. ECM applaud HE for listening and acting on the Bishops’ call.
“By appointing a lady as SPC, HE has also shown that both men and women can be given equal opportunities to serve in the government in line with Gender Equality Act. We believe that the new SPC will indeed deliver based on the trust given to her by HE,” said Saindi in an interview on Thursday.
Both Matonga and Saindi said they expect Zamba to discharge her duties more professionally to ensure Malawians are the ultimate winners of the decisions made by the Tonse Alliance government.
Until her new appointment, the new SPC has been heading the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) and Chief Advisor to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and International Affairs at the State House.
For the past 12 years, Zamba has been Economic Advisor in UNDP with six years in Nigeria Country Office, four years Zambia Country Office and past one year covering Swaziland and Lesotho Country offices.
Prior to UNDP, Colleen, a macro-economist, career technocrat, has 19 years managerial and professional experience in development policy rising to Permanent Secretary cadre in Malawi Government where she served as Principal Secretary in Ministries of Finance responsible for Economic affairs, Debt and Aid where she led the exceptional negotiation of HIPIC decision Point for Malawi: Trade and Industry; Comptroller Statutory Corporations and Special Assistant in Governor’s Office, Reserve Bank of Malawi. She was Secretary for the Cabinet Committee on the Economy for six years when Democratic Malawi was born and She worked with the VVIPs including the President.
At that time, she was also in charge of Monitoring of the Malawi Economic Programme.
Zamba has acquired a wide range of experience in doing business at national and International levels, economic, trade, and debt and Aid, dealing with development partners, Government decision and Policy Makers and politicians (Cabinet).
Zamba holds formal qualifications in macroeconomics, (MPhil Economic Planning), development policy (Post Graduate Diploma in Development Policy) obtained at University of Glasgow where she was awarded best student of the year 1989 and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science (Economics) obtained at the University of Malawi.
The nature of work and responsibilities in all these employments involved application of superior networking skills, with interpersonal skills through working with Ministers of Finance, Trade, Heads of Government and State, politicians, professionals, chief executives, donors and development partners to deliver and achieve planned results.