13 members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament have issued and signed a notice, pursuant to Standing Order 172 (2), demanding the removal of Shadreck Namalomba as Chairperson of the Committee “having displayed serious misconduct and misbehaviour, which has been occasioned by his inability to provide objective leadership as anticipated by Standing Order 171 (4) (c)”.
To remove the Chair, a two thirds quorum is required. The Committee has a total of 20 members such that for the motion to pass, there only remains one more member of the Committee to completely vote Namalomba out.
According to Standing Order 171 (1), “A Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Committee may be removed by Members of the Committee on a motion supported by two thirds of all Members of the Committee on any of the following grounds (a) incompetence; (b) misconduct or misbehaviour; (c) failure or refusal without justifiable reason to execute the duties of the Committee”.
The members accuse Namalomba of issuing a statement “in defence of the Former Head of State (Peter Mutharika) concerning a matter which is under investigation by the ACB [Anti-Corruption Bureau]”.
The members construe the said statement “as having serious potential to undermine Public Accounts Committee mandate in our future oversight dealings with the ACB in the matters of public finances as well as conflict of interest, unless the Honourable Member is removed as Chair of this Committee”.
According to one of the concerned members who did not want to be mentioned as he is not officially mandated to speak, they will also include in their motion a ground that as Chair of a public body, Namalomba has also shown to be compromised in favour of a political party represented in Parliament “by falsely, frivolously and groundlessly alleging that the ACB, which by law is an independent institution, is harassing and politically persecuting the former President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of DPP when the ACB is simply carrying out its mandate, thereby creating an image that he and the Committee he chairs is promoting, encouraging, or do not mind corruption, which has tarnished the image of PAC, and the Committee no longer has confidence in him as a result”.
The PAC Members who have signed the petition are Alfred Jiya, Albert Mapondera Mbawala, Dr. Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, George Zulu, Liana Kakhobwe Chapota, Mike Bango, Ephraim Abel Kayembe, Arthur Mabvuto Sungitsa, Emmanuel Chambulazina Jere, Steven Baba Kamsiyamo Malondera, Winiston Kaimanjira, Ackson Kalaile Banda, and John Francis Bande.
Namalomba was recently appointed as opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Spokesperson. Barely a fortnight after his appointment, Namalomba issued a scathing statement accusing the ACB of wanting to “invade and search the former President’s house, personal phones and laptops”, which he claimed was contrary to the laws of the country under section 21(a) of the Constitution.
He alleged that in the past 12 months, the ACB has constantly persecuted Mutharika by freezing his bank accounts without coming out clearly with reasons why they did this.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Gift Trapence described the statement by Namalomba, who is also Mangochi Southwest MP, as reckless and not fitting the office that he holds as PAC Chairperson.
Director General of ACB, Martha Chizuma, also issued a statement that the Bureau would not be intimidated and that Namalomba risked being arrested for obstructing justice.
The ACB is pursuing Mutharika over the importation of a large tonnage of cement duty-free allegedly using his taxpayer’s identification number (TPIN).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :