Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has fired the embattled Minister of Energy Newton Kambala barely hours after the Magistrate Court in Lilongwe granted his bail.
Kambala’s dismissal from the Cabinet should be an exciting news for local civil society organizations such as the National Anti-Corruption Alliance (NACA), which yesterday called for his immediate firing.
The former minister, alongside Enock Chihana of the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and Presidential Advisor on Strategy Chris Chaima Banda, faces the charge of conspiracy to make a public officer to abuse public office by attempting to influence NOCMA Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Hellen Buluma, to prioritise three specific companies in the fuel importation deals late last year.
They all deny the charge.
This notwithstanding, President Chakwera has dismissed Kambala from the Cabinet.
In a statement issued a short while ago, Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi says in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 95 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, Chakwera has removed Kambala from the Cabinet as a Cabinet member with effect from today, 11th August 2021.
Chikhosi says following this change to the Cabinet, all ministerial powers, functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Energy shall vest in and be exercised by the President.
“Therefore, all queries or matters requiring attention of the Minister of Energy should be directed to the Office of the President and Cabinet,” says the statement.
In court, ACB Director General Martha Chizuma disclosed that the Bureau has already obtained conscent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to proceed with prosecution.