Attorney General (AG) Chikosa Silungwe has advised the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) against transferring a senior officer in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, saying doing so would be unlawful.
In a letter dated August 20 2020 to Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC)Zangazanga Chikhosi, the government’s chief legal adviser referred to the re-appointment of Chizaso Nyirongo through secondment from Law Commission as chief law draftsman to replace the incumbent Amani Mussa.
Reads Silungwe’s brief letter: “I note that you have not responded to my letter of 16th July 2020. Please note that the purported secondment of Mr Chizaso Nyirongo; and the posting of Mr Amani Mussa breach the Public Service Act, especially Regulation 1:175 and Regulation 1:176 of the Malawi Public Service Regulations. The two decisions are ultra-vires and illegal.”
When contacted yesterday, Silungwe refused to take questions and instead faulted the leaking of official communication.
He said: “Someone is being unprofessional. I will not comment on a leak. I have been made aware of the leak this afternoon but I am not amused.
“I wouldn’t want to encourage such professional misconduct by commenting on the leak.”
Efforts to speak to Chikhosi and Deputy SPC Janet Banda yesterday proved futile as they could not be reached on their phones.
Sources familiar with the matter said Nyirongo previously served as chief draftsman, officially known as chief legislative counsel, and was being reappointed to replace Mussa despite Ministry of Justice not asking the OPC for the secondment of a person from another department.
The revelation follows Principal Secretary for Justice and Solicitor General Gertrude Hiwa’s move to challenge her transfer to the OPC as chief director for good governance.
Hiwa contends the decision to move her was not made in good faith because, among others, she was not given the right to be heard.