Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter has observed that while Tonse Alliance led government is attempting to correct irregular appointments and recruitment of public officers, it will also be critical that the same measure is applied across the board as some officers are being appointed in the very manner others removed were recruited – which is like moving in circles.
In a statement, Misa Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga said the media watchdog is concerned that the Tonse Alliance government is not following through with commitment it made on following laid down procedures in hiring public officers.
The organisation criticised the recruitment of Chikumbutso Mtumodzi as director of information in the Ministry of Information, “when the vacancy was never advertised nor was there a competitive recruitment process.”
Minister of Information Gospel Kazako is on record to have said the new administration was committed to ensuring that recruitment procedures were being followed.
Kazako said after termination of contracts for the then director of information and his deputy Mzati Nkolokosa and Deogratias Mmana respectively that it was important to ensure that laws were being followed when employing people into the public service, saying political colours should never be a qualification for anyone to get a job in government.
Misa Malawi argue that authorities should stand on moral high ground to seek equity with clean hands.
“We, therefore, find the hiring of new public officers without following the due process unfortunate and a betrayal to Malawians. MISA Malawi fears the trend may creep into other media bodies such as the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) which have been equally abused in the past.
“Ministry of Information, MBC and MACRA are statutory institutions with well laid down recruitment procedures and government must let those procedures guide recruitment processes.
Freedom of expression and media freedom thrive where public bodies responsible for the media are free from any form of political interference including recruitment of officers,” reads the statement from the organisation.
Misa Malawi has since urged the Tonse government to stick to the law in recruiting officers.