Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee has appointed Christopher Tukula to head the newly established Independent Complaints Commission (ICC).
Tukula formerly set up and headed the Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Declarations (Adpod) where he recently ran down his contract after serving two-term contracts.
Parliament established the Independent Complaints Commission (ICC) 10 years ago under Section 128 of the Police Act.
Since the passage of the Police Act in 2010, voices as diverse as the Public Appointments Committee (PAC), Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA), the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), and the Malawi Law Society (MLS) have called for the ICC’s formation.
The ICC’s broad mandate is to collect complaints from the public, initiate and conduct its own investigations, and, if necessary, prosecute officers.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Tukula said he is humbled by the appointment and is looking forward to serve.
“This is a call to service in a long-awaited and important position in the governance of the country. To have the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament repose their trust and confidence in my capabilities once more, ahead of other equally and respectable professional colleagues, is humbling.
“It is some recognition for my track record and more importantly, it is a rare opportunity for me to renew my commitment to service and a big motivation for me to improve on my previous performance and possibly surpass the expectations of the appointing authority and the Malawian public that I am invited to serve in a different capacity,” he said.
Reacting to the news of Tukula’s appointment, CHREAA, which has long been advocating for the establishment of the ICC noted that this fills a void in holding the Police accountable.
“Malawians deserve an independent agency that can conduct investigations into incidents like the Chisepo rape case (October 2018), the BuleyaLule case (February 2019) and the sexual assaults at Msundwe (October 2019), but also fill in the gaps between the big events. The ICC is needed to hold officers accountable and devote resources to see systemic changes implemented, rather than wait for the next front-page story,” said CHREAA’s executive director Victor Mhango.
He noted that an independent police complaints body is not only about holding police to account, but also about respecting victims’ rights.
“An ICC will allow victims to access justice through an impartial body that will respect their dignity,” he said.
He added that the ICC must be given a mandate to serve the public with accessible offices, a national hotline, and budgeting to get to hard-to-reach populations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :