ACB arrests former NSO commissioner Machinjiri for allegedly employing underqualified officers

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 arrested the former Commissioner for National Statistical Office (NSO), Charles Machinjiri, on charges bordering on abuse of office.

Former NSO Commissioner of Statistics Charles Machinjiri

According to a statement dated 30th September 2021 and signed by the Bureau’s Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala the ACB received an allegation in 2011 that the then Commissioner for National Statistical Office, Machinjiri produced a list of applicants with JCE to be recruited as Temporary Statistical Clerks in a vacancy whose minimum qualification was MSCE and that he Machinjiri gave that list to Hastings Dowe who was Human Resource Management Officer then (now Director of Administration at Blantyre District Council) for consideration during aptitude test for the recruitment.

“The Bureau conducted investigation, which established that 21 individuals were recruited although they did not meet the requirements. It was also established that Mr Dowe recommended and endorsed the recruitment. Mr Machinjiri, on the other hand, approved that list,” reads the release, adding that on 28th September, 2021, the ACB arrested Mr. Dowe and Mr. Machinjiri.

The duo was taken to Zomba Magistrate’s Court the following day where they were charged. According to the press release, Dowe was charged with misuse of public office, contrary to Section 25B (1) of Corrupt Practices Act while Machinjiri was charged with neglect of official duty, contrary to Section 121 of the Penal Code.

They were released on bail after satisfying the court conditions, including producing to the Court K250,000 cash each as bail bond, reporting at ACB offices once every fortnight on Mondays, and producing one surety each bonded at K500,000.00 not cash.

The court also ordered the two accused individuals to surrender travel documents to the Bureau, not to leave Malawi without the authority of the court, and not to interfere with state witnesses. They will appear in court on October 18 and 19, 2021 for trial.

In September 2012, Nyasa Times reported about revelations that Machinjiri had employed her own daughter, Marjorie Chipofya to head NSO’s regional office in Blantyre.

Some members of staff then had written the Minister of Justice and Attorney General to intervene and take action against Machinjiri whom they had accused of nepotism and running the institution as “a personal estate”.

He was accused of abusing the institution’s vehicles and drivers in favour of a political party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

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