The principal secretaries (PSs) — Joseph Mwandidya, Harry Kanjwe and Wilson Moleni —have been sacked by the Tonse Alliance-led government as part of “clearing the rubble”, Nyasa Times learnt on Wednesday evening.
Mwandidya – a former top spy – was PS in the Ministry of Energy, Kanjwe was at Homeland Security and Moleni was for Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
President Lazarus Chakwera will shift around top technocrats in the civil service to inculcate a spirit of performance.
Chief Secretary to government Zangazanga Chikhosi could not immediately comment on the reasons for the sacking of the trio.
Presidential spokesperson Sean Kampondeni did not pick our calls and did not respond to messages sent on his mobile phone.
But two convicted PSs—Cliff Chiunda and Grey Nyandule-Phiri—are still serving in the civil service despite a court ruling recommending their removal.
Chiunda, a former Secretary to Treasury is in the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC), while Nyandule Phiri remains at Agriculture ministry.
The High Court on March 6 this year slapped the two with a 24-months suspended sentence for contempt of court. They were found guilty of defying an order by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal to make a public apology for a faulty procurement and disposal of 100 tractors and 144 maize shellers–a deal popularly known as Tractorgate.
The equipment was bought in 2011 with a $50 million (about K37 billion) loan from Exim Bank of India.
In his ruling, High Court judge Charles Mkandawire observed that by disobeying the court order, the two PSs challenged the authority of the Judiciary, which is another arm of government, and the court asked the appointing authority for consideration that the two should no longer hold such high positions.
According to the ruling, what the two public officers committed was a serious breach and violation of Section 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.
Mkandawire argued that the law also applies to the President who can be removed from office if he violets the Constitution, adding: “If this can lead to removal of the President [from office], why not such officers?”
The judge pointed out that the two lost their moral authority to lead others and recommended to the appointing authority, through the OPC to look into the matter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :