Embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chief elections officer Willie Kalonga has been fired over allegations of financial abuse at the electoral body.
Kalonga was serving a suspension together with deputy chief elections officer (operations) Harris Potani, director of administration and human resources George Khaki, director of finance Khumbo Phiri, procurement manager Edington Chilapondwa, procurement officer Chimwemwe Kamala and assistant procurement officer Sydney Ndembe.
The decision to suspend senior managers and some staff to pave the way for investigations followed a resolution made in May this year by delegates to the Malawi Electoral Cycle Support (Mecs) Project Steering Committee meeting, comprising government officials and development partners.
Kalonga has since been fired together director of administration and human resources George Khaki.
He confirmed to have received the letter of dismissal but said he is challenging the decision.
Kalonga said he was not heard on the matter contrary to rules of natural justice.
He also argues that he was “wrongly charged” using Section 10 of the Public Finance Management Act.
“MEC is a statutory corporation and not a ministry or government department,” he said.
Kalonga said his job description is not that of a controlling officer but chief elections officer.
He noted that another material error on his sacking is that the letter shows it was disciplinary committee that recommended his dismissal and not MEC.
“I was employed by Malawi Electoral Commission not a disciplinary committee,” he argued.
Kalonga maintains that money was not ‘Cashgated’ at MEC but that “books were not reconciled.”
Britain dismissed outright MEC’s explanation on how K15.4 million was spent between July 2012 and December 2014.
A three-member team, comprising Auditor General Stevenson Kamphasa, retired judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Duncan Tambala and Rex Harawa, managing partner for AMG Gobal, certified public accountants and auditors, was tasked to probe the allegations of financial abuse at MEC.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :