People’s Party (PP) leader in parliament Uladi Mussa has questioned President Peter Mutharika’s appointment of Justice and Constitutional Affairs chief legislative counsel Fiona Kalemba as the new Clerk of Parliament (CoP) amid controversy that she was not the first among candidates interviewed by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).
Uladi said in parliament when he was responding to Mutharika’s state of the nation address that it was surprising the President did not pick the candidate who passed the interviews.
“Is this how it works. How can he pick a candidate who trailed on fourth position leaving out the one who passed,” asked Mussa amid applause from the backbenchers,
While a CoP is appointed by the President following recommendations from the PSC, the officer works under the direction of the Speaker.
Section 16 of the Parliamentary Service Act says that a CoP shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the PSC.
Mutharika intervened in the selection of the CoP after Speaker Richard Msowoya was accused of favouring Charles Mkandawire, High Court judge. Msowoya chaired the COP interviews.
But President Mutharika picked Kalemba.
Uladi said this is not the way governments run their affairs.
Kalemba is yet to take up her position as she was reportedly in Geneva for meetings of her former job at Ministry of Justice.
She becomes the second female CoP since independence after Matilda Katopola who left office acrimoniously in 2012 and has since bagged herself about K70 million ($125,000) from the government as compensation for unfair dismissal.
According to Section 55 of the Constitution and Section 16 of the Parliamentary Service Act, the CoP is responsible for managing operations of Parliament, providing procedural advice on parliamentary laws to committees among others.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :