Chakwera says MCP to take DPP to task on firing top civil servants

Leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Rev Dr Lazarous Chakwera has said his party will take the Peter Mutharika government  to task during next month parliament sitting over the unprocedural removal of some top officials in the civil service.

Chakwera said government has flouted some set rule by removing officers , saying the civil service reform being touted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is  being abused.

“Let’s be the people that respect rules that govern our institution in order to be seen as people who respect the law,” Chakwera said as quoted by the Daily Times.

Chakwera: Checks and balances
Chakwera: Checks and balances

The civil service has witnessed several changes which has seen some top officials being moved to different positions  since the Mutharika took over the reins of power following the chaotic May 20 polls.

Notable  Mutharika’s  unprocedural dismissal  include  former Director of Public Prosecution, Bruno Kalemba and Rezine Mzikamanda — former Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director .

Mutharika, a professor of law, did not follow procedures as per provisions of the Corrupt Practices Act to remove Mzikamanda.

Under Section 6(2) of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA): “A person holding the office of director may be removed from office by the President with the confirmation of the Public Appointments Committee [PAC] for inability to perform the functions of his office [whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or from any other cause] or for misbehaviour.”

But Minister of Information and government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa defended  the  business-as-usual changes, saying:“The reform is just shifting people from one department to the other, a thing which all previous administrations have done.”

“Honestly, nobody has been fired,” he said, “Everybody is getting their salary while waiting to be appointed to a new position.”

He queried: “Should these departmental transfers be an issue today when all the previous governments have done the same? Government is preparing for redeployment of all civil service staff that have not been appointed yet.”

Mutharika  fired the DPP and ACB director  at a time when the two offices are at the heart of investigations and prosecution of cases related to theft and money laundering of government funds which forensic auditors found amounted to K13 billion (about $34m) between April and September 2013

Mzikamanda would be resuming his role as judge of the Malawi Supreme Court while latest information indicates that Kalemba is now with the Ministry of labour.

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