Opposition leader Kondwani Nankhumwa says he has information about “alleged irregular and unprocedural appointment” of Export Development Fund (EDF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Gerald Nsomba, asking the parliamentary Public Appointments Committee (PAC) to investigate the matter.
In a statement issued on Thursday, September 2, 2021, Nankhumwa says Nsomba was employed in 2020 without following the laid down procedures of Reserve Bank of Malawi Group and its subsidiary, EDF, which demand a merit-based competitive selection process.
“It is also alleged that the said CEO does not possess the prerequisite qualifications for the job contrary to the RBM Group employment policy, which prescribes a relevant Master’s Degree and at least 10 years’ experience as Head of Department.
“I, therefore, wish to call upon the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament to immediately investigate this matter,” says Nankhumwa.
In a related development, Nyasa Times has also seen a letter from ‘Concerned Members of Staff’ of Reserve Bank of Malawi dated 31 August, 2021 and addressed to the Ombudsman raising similar concerns.
The letter, which has been copied to Gift Trapence, National Chairman for the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and the Chairperson for PAC, reads: “We are writing your esteemed office, Madam, as government arm of last resort of the state in the country, requesting your esteemed office to investigate the unprocedural appointment of Mr. Gerald Nsomba as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Export Development Fund (EDF), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) ‘the RBM Group’.
“Mr. Gerald Nsomba was appointed just before the June 23, 2020 presidential polls as CEO of EDF without the job being advertised to allow willing and eligible applicants to compete for the post of the CEO. The appointment of Mr. Nsomba as CEO is contrary to the provisions of the RBM Group, which require that the job be advertised to the public only if it cannot be filled internally notwithstanding that there were other well deserving candidates with the RBM Group”.
The ‘concerned’ employees also raise the issue of qualifications and experience, which they allege Nsomba does not possess to be appointed CEO. They claim the CEO “obtained unfair advantage over many other Malawians who could have applied for this job if EDF and RBM Boards were faithful to their Governance Charter and Human Resources Policy”.
“We seek your intervention within reasonable time and (we) expect to hear from you on how you will proceed on this matter,” concludes the letter.
EDF Licence Matter
Meanwhile, the Leader of Opposition says he is shocked that Export Development Fund (EDF), a registered and incorporated financial services company, has been operating without a licence for nine years.
This came to light during a Public Accounts Committee of Parliament hearing held with senior officials from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) on Wednesday, 1st September, 2021.
In the said statement, Nankhumwa observes that under the Financial Services Act and other relevant legislation, no company can conduct financial services business in Malawi unless RBM has given that company a licence to operate as a financial institution.
“It is suspicious, therefore, that RBM, which is the financial services regulatory body, allowed EDF to operate for close to a decade without a licence, especially considering also that RBM holds 100 percent shares in EDF. One wonders whether this was a deliberate attempt to flout the law, for whatever reasons, or that it was pure negligence on the part of RBM Board of Directors and top management.
“I would have expected RBM to be above reproach in terms of morality in managing this matter right from the beginning. Indeed, the Reserve Bank is supposed to have unquestionable integrity as a regulator in this business,” says Nankhumwa, who also serves as DPP Vice President for Southern Region.
He calls upon the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) “and other relevant agencies to thoroughly investigate this matter to establish what may have caused this apparent disrespect for the law”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :