Minister of Information Gospel Kazako says government will make its position known on the position of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general following the expiry of the contract for incumbent Reyneck Matemba on December 1.
The minister, who is the official government spokesperson, yesterday said that the whole situation is about government making its decision on the matter; hence, it will soon state its position.
He said: “It is not about rejection or acceptance. It is all about government making a decision [on the matter]. So, government will make its position on this matter known very soon.”
Kazako, however, was non-committal on whether government had offered Matemba a new contract.
Matemba, who was appointed by immediate-past president Peter Mutharika as ACB director general in November 2017, is on record as having indicated that he would not seek contract renewal.
During a media briefing in June, he said: “I have read on social media that I cannot bite the finger which feeds me. Which finger? I am here on secondment. I have a full-time job with the Ministry of Justice.”
When asked yesterday on whether he had been offered a new contract after the expiry, Matemba said it would not be appropriate to discuss the matter surrounding his contract in the media.
He said: “I strongly feel it would be inappropriate for me to be discussing contractual matters in the press.”
Matemba’s appointment as ACB director general by Mutharika followed the expiry of the contractor of his predecessor, Lucas Kondowe. Matemba served as Kondowe’s deputy.
Prior to his appointment as head of the graft-busting body, Matemba worked at Ministry of Justice as assistant chief legislative counsel, administrator general and in the Legal Aid Department, now called Legal Aid Bureau.
Last week, Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee (PAC) chairperson Joyce Chitsulo described Matemba’s alleged failure to prosecute suspected government officials as a huge disappointment.
She, however, conceded that almost all previous directors faced similar predicaments as Matemba and that the bureau tends to tick when there was a change of government.
Under Matemba’s tenure, among some high-profile cases, the ACB secured convictions of former minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Uladi Mussa in a passport fraud case and Democratic Progressive Party regional governor (North) Christopher Mzomera Ngwira in a case of misusing public office and defended a K70 billion compensation claim from DPP secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey and three others.
The bureau also secured convictions in several Cashgate cases.