The newly appointed head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Bintony Kutsaira was on Sunday at Bangwe Market Ground, Blantyre, among officials attending the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) political rally, confirming fears that his appointment would jeopardize the role such a post holder has to undertake.
President Bingu wa Mutharika on January 15, 2012 appointed Kutsaira, the former DPP Secretary General and presidential advisor on youth affairs to be the country’s spy chief. The head of NIS in Malawi reports directly to the President.
His appointment sparked controversy and condemnation from opposition political parties and civil society organization, arguing appointing a party official compromised the intergrity and independence of the agency.
The Malawi Human Rights Consultative Committee described as “very unfortunate” the appointment of the party functionary and called on the President to reverse the appointment “to assure the nation that Malawi will maintain its integrity without compromising it with partisan politics”.
In a statement signed by Acting National Coordinator Reverend MacDonald Sembereka, HRCC said that the position of head of national intelligence is not for politicians but “persons of integrity who will act above party politics.
“Appointing a pure party politician alienates issues of national intelligence into partisan agenda. With due respect, we would appeal to the appointing authority to rise above party politics and start looking at these positions from a professional point of view.
“Unless the authorities will want us to believe otherwise, such a position will require a professional that befits the same,” said Reverend Sembereka.
On Sunday, Kutsaira joined Information Minister and DPP Director of Women Patricia Kaliati, Foreign Affairs Minister and DPP endorsed presidential candidate Professor Peter Mutharika, Bangwe Parliamentarian Henry Mpofu Shaba and beleagured DPP Regional Governor for the South, Noel Masangwi, among others.
A sizeable crowd attended the meeting, which was also marred by a heavy downpour.
The DPP leaders blamed most of the country’s social, political and economic woes on the opposition and civil society organizations. They did not elaborate but assured Malawians that Malawi was on the path to economic recovery this year.