As fire President Lazarus Chakwera ignited in flouting the Gender Equality Act in appointment of boards is yet to die, Nation on Sunday understands he also did not consult people before he hired them.
Chakwera, after one of his partial Cabinet appointees turned down the offer, told the nation on July 1 2020 through his Facebook page that he would be consulting nominees before announcing any appointment.
But the President, voted into power through the court-sanctioned June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election, failed to keep his promise when he appointed board members of statutory corporations and subverted organisations.
In random survey Nation on Sunday undertook, some of the appointed board members disclosed that they first heard of their appointments through social media as the list of the appointees circulated on media platforms while others were alerted by either their friends or family members.
It has also been established that some of those consulted for appointments to specific boards, found themselves in totally different boards not suitable to their profession.
A governance expert Makhumbo Munthali said it is unfortunate that not everyone appointed was consulted, adding that the time the President took to announce boards was taken to be indication that he was consulting.
“This is bad governance practice. Others may have accepted to take up the appointments just out of respect to the President.
“It’s a bad practice that should not be entertained. The appointing authority should not think that everyone is desperate to take up such positions,” Munthali said.
The governance expert said it’s embarrassing when some appointees turn down the offers when the President had all the time to consult them.
But Minister of Information Gospel Kazako said the fact that those who were not consulted have accepted the appointments indicate that one cannot annul appointments on the basis of consultations alone.
Kazako, commenting on those that turned down the offers, said there was a high likelihood that they would not accept were they consulted “now that they have changed their mind on the appointment”.
“However, the central issue is their willingness to join the fight against hunger, disease [and] poverty through effective running of public companies and institutions.
“In this case, we take it they have reservations. We respect their position and we certainly have no issues with their view. We will consult for replacement with other willing Malawians as we did,” the Information minister said.
Some board members we interviewed said they decided to take the positions, despite not being consulted, because it is a challenge they are able to confront.
“But well, it’s not a good thing because the President promised to be consulting nominees before announcement is made, that is the good practice. Some may have taken up these positions just to cover up the President, and would have been a different thing if they were consulted.
“Imagine people started calling me for congratulatory messages when I was traveling from Mzuzu to Lilongwe. I completely had no idea and it was embarrassing when I asked a few friends what they were congratulating me for,” said one board member.
Three board appointees, Chancellor College-based law lecturer Edge Kanyongolo, gender activist Barbara Banda and human rights activist Charles Kajoloweka turned down the appointments, with Banda and Kajoloweka citing conflict of interest but also gave a hint they were not consulted. Kanyongolo was appointed into the board of Competition and Fair Trade Commission while Banda was appointed as a member in the board of Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta).