Controversy as Katopola not yet kicked out

Clerk of Parliament Maltilda Katopola has not yet lost her job despite being told to go on forced leave as there is controversy on the process of removing her, Nyasa Times has learnt.

Former Director of Public Prosecution, Ishmael Wadi was already offered the job  and is waiting for the complete sacking of Katopola.

A member of the Parliamentary Service Commission has told Nyasa Times that the Speaker of the National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda, is being forced to convince his Commission, which he chairs, to recommend to President Joyce Banda, to approve the removal of Katopola.

It is only the President, upon recommendation from the Commission, who can remove the Clerk of Parliament, according to law.

Katopola: On forced leave

A member of the Commission, who sought anonymity, told Nyasa Times that the Speaker has been “threatened” by top government officials  that he will lose his job –through impeachment –  if the Commission does not recommend to the President for Katopola’s removal.

The source said architects of Katopola’s removal are Vice President  Khumbo Kachali,  Government Chief Secretary Bright Msaka and Minister of Justice and Attorney  General  Ralph Kasambara .

The Vice President and Msaka are reported to have summoned the Speaker to persuade him to have his Commission recommend the removal of Katopola.

Contrary to public perception, the Commissioner informed Nyasa Times that the Commission felt that there is “no valid reason” to sack Katopola, but a “personal vendetta” against her.

The Commissioner informed that Katopola, in his view, had transformed Parliament positively, by refusing to be influenced by parliamentarians.

“As a professional, the Commission has no problem against her, that is why I hope the President will not regard personal issues to influence her decision as to whether to sack Katopola or not. This is why we felt that she should go on leave first while waiting for the President’s decision,” said a Commissioner.

Katopola  is the one that introduced the new Strategic Plan that Parliament has. She has brought professional discipline at the institution, which made her unpopular amongst MPs and some members of staff.

This is not the first time Katopola has courted controversy . In 2007 former  MP for Blantyre South West Gerald Mponda filed a motion to remove Katopola, accusing her of working for the Executive, disrespecting MP’s and abuse of office.

Since her employment as Parliamentary Clerk, Katopola has been involved in several disputes with most of the MPs including Parliamentary Committees.

But efforts to speak to Katopola proved futile as her mobile phones were switched off.

Katopola is the first female Clerk of Parliament in Malawi.

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