Kutsaira’s appointment as top spy criticised

An active politician cannot head the spy agency, National Intelligence Service (NIS), the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) says in reaction to President Bingu wa Mutharika naming DPP politician Bintony Kutsaira as head of NIS.

In a statement signed by acting national coordinator the Reverend MacDonald Sembereka, HRCC says the position requires a person with security background.

But president spokesman Hetherwick Ntaba says the constitution does not stop the appointing authority from picking a politician to head the spy agency.

Kutsaira: Top spy

“Mr. Kutsaira is a politician and the current position he has been appointed to is meant to be a national position for persons who will act above party politics,” said HRCC in the statement.

“Appointing a pure party politician alienates issues of national intelligence into partisan agenda. With due respect, we would appeal to the appointing authority to rise above party politics and start looking at these positions from a professional point of view.”

HRCC asked President Mutharika to reverse the appointment forthwith “to assure the nation that Malawi will maintain its integrity without compromising it with partisan politics.”

Reads the statement: “We have nothing personal about the appointee, but we are concerned about issues of national importance, including that of national intelligence which adds credibility and value to the way the country is governed.”

Mutharika on Friday replaced Clement Kapalamula from the NIS head job with Kutsaira a former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the Centre and party secretary general (SG) Kutsaira.

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