Wadi clerk of parliament: ‘Definitely, maybe’

Former  Director of Public Prosecutions Ishmael Wadi has been topped  to be Clerk of Parliament (COP) replacing incumbent Matilda Katopola,  one of the most untouchable comedians of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika.

A government source at the Capital Hill has confirmed that Katopola has been shown the exit door and that Wadi would be named the new COP.

Nyasa Timesunderstands Wadi was given an appointment letter and it was quickly withheld after realising some “legal pitfalls” in removing Katopola.

Katopola: Her job on the line

Katopola is not on contract but is “a permanent officer”, Nyasa Times understands. She can only be removed by the President through recommendation by Parliamentary Service Commission which is headed by Speaker of Parliament.

Nyasa Times learnt that senior government officials “jumped the gun” in offering the job to Wadi before looking at the legal implications in removing Katopola.

When contacted for comment that he is the COP designate, Wadi could not confirm, neither could he deny.

The former top government prosecutor said he could not comment on the development.

Katopola, a lawyer by profession, is on record being accused by legislators and the media for arrogance, impudence and rudeness. She also ordered the ban of Nyasa Times at the National Assembly where the online news is blocked.

Mutharika once defended her when she was involved in a scandal in which her company dubiously bought materials to the National Assembly, a procurement which should not have happened because of conflict of interest.

The National Assembly awarded a contract to Katopola’s company called Monick Trends to provide colour photocopying and binding services for a launch in 2007 of Parliament’s Strategic Plan, a development described as inappropriate by former Director of Public Procurement Bright Mangulama.

Monick Trends, whose records at the Registrar of Companies, show was registered on May 3, 2006, with Matilda Marcia Katopola, nee Zande as sole proprietor, on September 6, 2007, issued an invoice of K86, 997 for the colour photocopying and binding services it rendered to Parliament.

Anti Corruption Bureau failed to probe the matter until today because its director Alex Nampota recused himself as Katopola was his close relative.

Malawi Law Society faulted Nampota for recusing himself before authoring the probe.

Parliamentary Service Commission recommended the firing of Katopola but Mutharika challenged the decision and reinstated her.

Mutharika played God by pardoning her without her being brought before the courts of Malawi to clear her name. The late president had argued that the figure involved was too small to warrant her dismissal.

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