Malawi President Joyce Banda has been advised to appoint a deputy director for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and a deputy Inspector General of Police as required by the law to ensure good governance.
The position of deputy chief immigration officer is also vacant.
The past governments of Bakili Muluzi and late president Bingu wa Mutharika did not appoint officers for the positions despite calls from civil society organisations to do so.
In 2008, ACB did not investigate Clerk of Parliament Matilda Katopola despite receiving a complaint on allegations of abuse of office because the ACB director Alexius Nampota recused himself as â€œthe complaint had taken an issue of relationship between the director and Katopola.â€
The office of the ACB deputy director, which could also authorise investigations, was vacant as it is now. Parliamentary Service Commission later suspended Katopola, but Mutharika later reinstated her.
Constitutional law lecturer at the Chancellor College associate professor Edge Kanyongolo said this week offices of deputy ACB director and deputy IG ought to be filled because they ensure rule of law, efficiency and effectiveness in their respective institutions.
Said Kanyongolo: â€œAny position that the law requires should be filled and the new administration should proceed to fill them as quickly as possible because these positions promote the rule of law.â€
He said failure to fill the positions would not be in the best interest of the rule of law.
â€œWhat is at stake if these positions are not filed are the rule of law, efficiency and effectiveness,â€ Kanyongolo said.
Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu did not commit himself whether government would fill the positions. He said he needed to consult on the matter.
Immigration Department spokesperson Peter Kakatera confirmed that his department â€œhas had no deputy chief immigration officer for some time.â€
When Nampota recused himself before authorising investigations on Katopola, Malawi Law Society faulted him, saying he should have done so after authorising the investigations.
The office of deputy director at ACB fell vacant after Parliamentâ€™s Public Appointment Committee rejected Victor Banda for the position.
Governmentâ€™s secret directory shows that many departments have no deputies.