June 19, 2021

NGO GCN takes Chizuma to Speaker of Parliament

The NGO Gender Coordination Network and its consortium affiliates, Women’s Manifesto Movement, Women Lawyers Association, HRDC and National Advocacy Platform, have requested the Office of the Speaker of Parliament in availing information pertaining to the meeting between the Public Appointments Committee [PAC] and Ms. Martha Chizuma, as held on the 11th May 2021.

The NGO GCN and its consortium affiliates say with respect to Section 6 and 12 of the Constitution of Malawi as well as articles 5,14 and 15 of the Access to Information Act, among others, it is in their common interest to be furnished with copies of minutes or detailed report of the meeting proceedings.

The organizations say they are demanding guidelines or criteria of assessment for the interviews, textual or audio verbatim recording covering the actual interview process and individual score sheets with justifications that were utilized in tallying the final score.

“…Kindly also note that we should be able to comply with any further procedural requirements from your end over this request…,’’ reads the request on the table of the Speaker of Parliament.

Soon after Ms. Martha Chizuma was rejected as Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB], the HRDC released a statement that it had no doubt that Ms. Chizuma is the country’s favourite to fill the vacant post because of her passion for justice and the efficiency with which she goes about her job.

The HRDC described Chizuma as a star performer, a reformist and a crusader for justice believing that an effective ACB Director General creates an effective environment in which democracy thrives, saying all well-meaning Malawians across the country were shocked by the PACs decision to derail the country’s desire for a corrupt free nation.

The organization said every Malawian who wishes his country well, will support Ms. Chizuma and only those who are protecting their vested, will not want this justice crusader at the ACB.

“…The awkward scoring makes one wonder what the ultimate goal of the committee members who scored her 1 out of 25 points, have to hide? And what they scared of…,’’ reads the statement in part.

The HRDC is demanding President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to re-submit Ms. Martha Chizuma’s name as ACB Director and that her candidature be re-tabled at the PAC and that a more evidence-based scorecard should be used.

The organization is also demanding that PACs interview of Ms. Chizuma be aired live on Television and radio to allow Malawians to be the real judges of this process.

By Vincent Gunde

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