The Public Appointments Committee plans to summon the acting Chief Secretary to the Government Willie Samute on the removal of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Justice Rezine Mzikamanda who has since been sent back to the bench as a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The chairperson Lingson Belekanyama said in an interview on Monday that his committee was in conundrum because according to Section 6 (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act, the President can only remove the ACB director with the confirmation of the Public Appointments Committee for inability to perform his functions.
“So far we have just been informed of the decision to remove him as ACB director. The Act [Corrupt Practices] says we should confirm the removal, but as a committee we have not agreed on how this confirmation will be done. The view so far is to meet the Chief Secretary then confirm,” he said.
Mzikamanda’s removal was confirmed last week, but reasons have not been provided to the committee to confirm.
However, the President is yet to appoint a new ACB director, an office which alongside the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions are at the heart of investigations and prosecution of cases related to theft and money laundering of government funds which forensic auditors found amounted to K13 billion between April and September, 2013.
Meanwhile, the Public Appointments Committee will tomorrow [Wednesday] interview the Director of Public Prosecutions designate Mary Kachale who has replaced Bruno Kalemba.
But Belekanyama said Section 101 of the Constitution did not give the committee a lot of power on the appointment of the DPP.
“We are just expected to assess the designate’s suitability and communicate the decision to the appointing authority,” he said.
According to her resume which is before the committee, Kachale was serving as chief legal aid advocate before her appointment two weeks ago, but has previously served as senior chief state advocate in the Ministry of Justice.
Since her appointment was yet to be confirmed, decision-making stalled at the Office of the DPP, including the go ahead on certain court cases.
A special prosecutor in Cashgate cases, Enock Chibwana, told the High Court on Friday that following changes in the office of the DPP, there was a need to inform her of progress on the cases.
The committee will this Thursday and Friday interview candidates for the positions of Director and Deputy Director of Public Officers Declarations whose shortlisting was taking place on Monday.