Francis Magombo of Neno says will sue Malawi government over a suspension he got in June 2014 – during the Joyce Banda regime – that stripped him of his authority to lead as Traditional Authority (T/A) Chekucheku.
According to aides close to the chief, Chekucheku says he “has not been told of the reasons behind his suspension” and that he “has no knowledge of any misconduct investigation against him”
But a letter from president Banda, who was administering powers in pursuant to Chapter 23:03, Part 11, Section 11(2) of the Chiefs Act read that Chekucheku had been suspended “from exercising the functions of T/A Chekucheku of Neno District with immediate effect until after conclusion of the investigation into alleged misconduct on your part.”
The letter, which Nyasa Times has seen, was dated May 15, 2014.
Private practice lawyer Golden Mbeya, representing the chief, had told local media that the chief was supposed to be told reasons for his suspension.
“My client was supposed to be told what he was being investigated for since Section 43 of the Constitution gives him that right,” Mbeya had said.
But over ten months since he was suspended, Chekucheku hasn’t heard anything from government’s mouth.
However, Nyasa Times sources say the traditional leader was apparently suspended for being an ardent sympathizer of now ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) – opposition at the time.
Chekucheku, sources said, was suspended for opening up his area to “all political parties” during campaign prior to the May 20tripartite elections.
Should he be successful in getting government favours his side on the matter, Chekucheku will be the second case in very recent history in which the Peter Mutharika government will have utterly dissolved a decree instituted by former president Banda in the Ministry of Local Government circles.
Barely a dozen days ago, the Mutharika government also quashed off a promotion for Chitipa acting District Commissioner Grace Chirwa to work as full commissioner citing erroneous procedures.
Grace Chirwa got presidential approval to work as DC for Chitipa on October 22, 2013.
But Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Tarsizio Gowelo has nullified Chirwa’s promotion, reverting her to her initial position of Chief Administrative Officer (Grade F).
“There was no vacant post which you could be promoted to,” reads a letter to Chirwa in part. “There was no authorized establishment warrant and there was no provision for funds in the personal emoluments budget to service the post.”
There has been an ongoing tussle between Chirwa and government since Mutharika reversed the former’s promotion.
In 2014, Mutharika’s government issued out that Chirwa be transferred to Rumphi where she would work as chief administrative officer.
But through her lawyer Jivason Kadzipatike, Chirwa sought an injunction that blocked the move.
Gowelo, through the Ministry’s principal secretary Kester Kaphaizi, defied the court order and summoned Chirwa to a discussion where she was notified of the nullification of her promotion in writing.
According to the letter, which Nyasa Times has seen, Chirwa has been informed that she with “immediate effect revert to your substantive established post of chief administrative officer (Grade F), tenable at Rumphi District.”
Rodney Simwaka a veteran DC, Nyasa Times has learnt, will take over from Chirwa soon.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :