Former ActionAid Executive Director and renowned Human Rights lawyer and Feminist, Grace Malera is the new public protector, the Ombudsman.
Malera has been appointed Ombudsman replacing the industrious Martha Chizuma who is now the country’s anti-graft busting body, The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General.
According to source privy to the recruitment interviews, five people competed for the position of the Ombudsman as the office fell vacant following Chizuma’s departure and Malera, a gender-equality specialist, scored 22.6 out of the total set mark of 25 to emerge atop.
The Office of the Ombudsman is a Public body established under the Malawi Constitution section 123 to investigate any and all cases where it is alleged that a person has suffered injustices and it does not appear that there is any remedy reasonably available by way of appeal from court or where there is no other practicable remedy.
The Office of Ombudsman (OoO) is an independent Public Institution established by the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi 1994 under Section 120 but it became operational in 1995 when the first Ombudsman was appointed.
Malera, will be the fifth Ombudsman and a third woman to hold the office. The earlier officers, all of them lawyers, to hold the office include; Makoza Chirwa (1995- 1998) Enock Chibwana (1999-2009) Retired judge, Justice Tujilane Chizumila (2010-2015) and the immediate past Ombudsman, Martha Chizuma.
The Ombudsman is accountable to Parliament and is expected to report each year on his/her activities and the performance of his or her functions to the National Assembly and send a copy of such to the Cabinet and any other relevant organ of Government.
Malera is going to take over the ombudsmanship from Martha Chizuma who brought sanity to the office of the ombudsman and she is expected to maintain the high standards Chizuma set.
During Chizuma’s five-year reign as ombudsman, the Office of the Ombudsman had been awarded for being the overall best performing public institution in the 2018/2019 financial year.
However, those in the know vouch that Malera is one hell of a good lawyer and a passionate human rights and social justice defender.
“There couldn’t be a better person to take that office up. Grace Malera is so passionate about fighting injustices. I have all the hopes that she will do well,” said one senior Blantyre-based lawyer who chose not to be identified.
Malera is yet to be confirmed by the Public Appointment Committee (PAC) of Parliament.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :