PAC throws a spanner in appointment of new Malawi anti-graft body boss

Members of the Malawi’s Public Appointments Committee of Parliament, (PAC) say the committee does not recognise the vacancy of the director which government authorities and other stakeholders claim exists at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Government authorities fired then ACB director Alex Nampota for allegedly abuse of office a development which did not go down well with donor agencies like DFID forcing them to withhold funding to the bureau until government appoints the new director.

Malawi parliament’s PAC chairperson Nick Masewo says the committee was not officially communicated about the firing of ACB’s director as is the procedure hence it does know that the position of ACB’s director is vacant.

Nampota: Sought for a judicial review

“As far as the committee is concerned, the ACB director is there [working] because we have received no communication about either the resignation or firing of the ACB director. Then if it is the firing of the ACB director then it cannot just be done up there without consulting the committee and that is what is within the Act,” says Masewo.

Ironically the committee had earlier rejected to confirm the name of person appointed by the government to head the ACB after he proved incompetent for the post.

But Masewo claims that even the procedure which the government authorities followed in choosing their ‘blue eyed boy’ for the position was a sham.

“We just received an appointment of one person and the committee went into interviewing the candidate [who was later rejected]. It would be fine if they provided at least four names for us to pick who should be the director.”

He says currently they have not yet received any suggestion from the government for the ACB director.

Masewo however declined to confirm or deny reports that the committee is planning to demand an official communication from the government authorities of vacant position of ACB director before it once again interview any suggested person for the job.

Nampota sued Attorney General (AG) Ralph Kasambara and Chief Secretary to the Government Bright Msaka, challenging their decision to terminate his contract  and lso sued Inspector General of Police Loti Dzonzi for summoning him to explain how he had been discharging his duties as ACB Director, contrary to Section 21(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.

He is currently on bail following his arrest on allegations that he pocketed K1.5 million in allowances for a trip he allegedly never undertook.

Secretary for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Anthony Kamanga, confirmed government is discussing with Nampota on how best to resolve their differences.

There was more than a year left on his contract when President Joyce Banda, who took over after Mutharika’s death, fired the ACB director.

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