The Board of Directors for the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has nullified the employment contract of fired Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nasinuku Saukila allegedly because his hiring was irregular.
According to NFRA Board Chair, Dennis Kalekeni, Saukila was hired by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) in March 2019 after he had already retired in February the same year.
“His hiring was improper; OPC are not the right authority to hire an NFRA CEO. It is only the NFRA Board, which is legally mandated to identify and engage a CEO.
“Additionally, there was no any competitive recruitment process before Saukila was recalled from retirement to continue serving as CEO,” explained Kalekeni.
According to inside sources at NFRA, the reason the retired CEO was re-employed may have been his alleged allegiance to the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), most of whose political activities he allegedly funded using NFRA money.
Following the nullification of his employment, Saukila is bound to lose all his terminal benefits despite being at the helm for over two years.
Last week, the Board sacked Saukila and the Agency’s Director of Finance (DoF) Peter Salamba following an audit, which revealed massive financial irregularities involving the two officials.
In one instance, it is alleged that K611 million, which was meant for procurement of maize for the Strategic Grain Reserves, was misappropriated.
The duo are also alleged to have been flouting procurement procedures, notably when they handpicked a garage at Biwi Triangle in Lilongwe to service NFRA cars without any competitive bidding process as the law requires.
They are also accused of having bankrolled activities of “a certain political party” from NFRA coffers.
Meanwhile, the NFRA Board has since withdrawn the officers’ official vehicles, a Toyota TX registration number TO 1959 from Saukila and a Toyota Fortuner MH 1999, which the DoF used to drive.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala told Nyasa Times last week that they do not have full details of the issue but that the Bureau will review the information from media reports to determine whether there is any suspected offence to warrant the Bureau’s action against the duo in accordance with the mandate of the Bureau.
However, police sources indicate that warrants of arrest have been obtained by the Fiscal Police Department against the two officers but the details of charges are yet to be made public.
Saukila and Salamba have not responded to Nyasa Times request for their side of the story after several attempts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :