A court tussle on whether newly appointed Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba should take oath of office or not after emerging third in Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) interviews has been completed with Mzuzu High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise ruling that the President did not error in appointing her and she will now be eligible for an initial salary of MK11, 926,404.00 per annum.
According to Speaker Richard Msowoya, who us also PSC chair, Kalemba will be eligible for an initial salary of MK11, 926,404.00 per annum in the MK11, 926,404.00 – MK15, 225,264.00 salary scale segment, which she will commence to draw with effect from the date of her appointment – November 4, 2015.
Msowoya indicated that the CoP carries “other benefits “ applicable to a post at that level in the Parliamentary Service.
He also stated that salary incremental date is 1 December of every year.
Four parliamentarians Enoch Chihana, Kamlepo Kalua, Peter Chakhwantha and Harry Mkandawire obtained an injunction in November last year against Kalemba’s swearing in as CoP because she came third in the interviews.
The four parliamentarians accused President Peter Mutharika of unfairness for not appointing Justice Charles Mkandawire who they claimed had the highest scores.
In his ruling Judge Madise declared that President Mutharika did not error when he appointed Kalemba who was shortlisted for interviews amongst eight candidates who included Arthur Nanthulu, Jabber Alide, Justice Charles Mkandawire, David Bandawe, Grace Malera, Lt. Col. Prof. Dan Kuwali and Ernest Makawa.
The results of the interviews indicated Justice Mkandawire came first with 89% followed by Grace Malera 83% and Kalemba 80%.
In his 22 paged ruling Judge Madise said the expected moral duty was to recommend three names to Mutharika out of which the President made choice as the appointing authority mandated by section 89(1) of the constitution.
Madise faulted the PSC earlier decision to send only the name of Justice Charles Mkandawire to Mutharika for approval after which the President asked for three names
“If the President were gagged to appoint a recommended name, that would reduce his powers to mere rubber stamping and thereby removing the power
Of the executive branch to check on the other branches of government,” said Madise.
He stated: “Reverse or positive discrimination is allowed under the law in this country and internationally. “
Judge Madise said if the four MPs want merit to prevail in such appointments then they should push for amendment of section 16 of the Parliamentary Service Act, clearly defining how this should be done.
“I’m of the view that the frames of the law deliberately singled out the CoP to be appointed by the President as a check and balance on the institution of Parliament.
“Relevant considerations are allowed to be taken in to account when making a presidential appointment. These range from gender, disability and the empowerment of minority groups among many,” said Madise in his ruling.
This ruling by Judge Madise means that Fiona Kalemba can now be sworn in as the new Clerk of Parliament, replacing Roosevelt Gondwe who retired.
Soon after the ruling, lawyer for the MPs, Wesley Mwafulilwa of John and Tennyson said he will discuss with his clients if they should appeal.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :