PAC ordered to provide detailed report on Chizuma’s rejection

Public Appointments Committee of Parliament

The Public Appointments Committee (PAC) has been ordered to provide a detailed report to the house on Monday on its rejection of Martha Chizuma as the new Director of the Anti-.Corruption Bureau (ACB)

Leader of the house Richard Chimwendo-Banda was allowed to move a motion without notice in the National Assembly for members to appreciate the process taken before deciding the way forward on the matter.

He also questioned the rating by some of the Committee’s members describing her as a suitable candidate for the job despite the rejection.

The motion read: “That in view of the decision of the Public Appointments Committee of this House not to confirm Ms. Martha Chizuma as Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau following her appointment by His Excellency the President, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, this house demands a detailed Report from the said Committee to be presented in this House on Monday 17th May to enable this House consider the reasons for the Committee’s rejection and that thereafter this House should decide on the way forward on the action by the Committee.”

Chimwendo contended that Malawi has suffered a lot from corruption but that ever since Chakwera came into power, he has showed seriousness in fighting corruption.

He further said much as there has to be separation of powers among the different arms of government, but the Committee has to be accountable to the whole house.

Chimwendo-Banda: We have heard that during the interview she was given one out of 25

The Leader of the House noted that it is apparent members could not differentiate between interviewing and confirming of public officers while being mindful that Chizuma passed the initial interview.

 “We have heard that during the interview she was given one out of 25 yet she possesses a Masters in Law,” lamented Chimwendo

He stressed that any parliamentary committee is mandated to report to the whole house and be accountable hence the demand for a detailed report on Monday 17th May.

Supporting the motion Likoma Islands legislator Christopher Songwe, stated the house needs to fully appreciate the format used so as to differentiate between confirming and interviewing.

He faulted Mangochi South, MP Lilian Patel whom he alleged was not fully present during the process but managed to score Chizuma one out of 25 and how that might have impacted on the final decision.

Patel: Her conduct faulted by some members

Songwe pointed out that as elected members they were supposed to conduct the exercise in a manner that represents public interest.

As a Parliamentary Committee, he underscored the need to preserve the integrity and credibility of the house for Parliament to defend its reputation.

Democratic Progressive Party member Victor Musowa put it on record his party only had five members in the Committee and that in the spirit of not delaying deliberations and the opening session withdrew the division that arose over the motion.

Another DPP legislator Shadreck Namalomba echoed that DPP is not against her appointment as the party only has five members on the Committee but that the refusal was orchestrated by members of the Tonse block who are in majority.

Chimwendo-Banda nonetheless challenged the Committee to come with the report so that the house must be saved against propaganda.