Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) will join the case between the Ombudsman and the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) over the release of an investigative report into the recruitment of Henry Kachaje as chief executive officer of Mera.
Both MLS and HRDC are joining the case as friends of the court legally known as amicus curiae, among other reasons, they are joining the case because they have a strong interest to address issues of law or evidence or provide advice in the interest of the public.
Mera obtained an injunction on Wednesday which was served on the Ombudsman almost 10 minutes into presentation of the report titled Curbing Impunity.
The report which has already gone viral on social media nullifies the appointment of Kachaje as Mera CEO because it was done irregularly and unprocedurally. But the Office of the Ombudsman has indicated that it will challenge the court order.
While an insider at MLS confided in us that they are joining the case—MLS President Patrick Mpaka said a decision is yet to be made as they are reviewing paper work.
“We, as MLS, are no doubt interested and observing developments in the case given the involvement of three public institutions (Mera, Ombudsman and the Judiciary) and the various legal instruments at play. There should be public interest at stake.
“We are studying the papers to appreciate the issues involved before making any decision on what contribution we, as MLS, can make to promote the rule of law and assist in protecting public interest on the subject.”
HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence confirmed in an interview that they are joining the case.
In her determination. Ombudsman Grace Malera faulted Mera for shortlisting Kachaje for interviews when documents submitted in his application did not include his master’s degree.
The determination further reveals that the purported master’s degree which was produced after the interview was from an institution that is not accredited.
But in its submission to court, Mera has insisted that Kachaje was the right candidate for the post because he came out top in the interviews and that he had necessary qualifications—which include the contested master’s degree.
The Ombudsman’s investigation into the matter was ignited by three separate complaints from Richard Chapweteka—one of the applicants for the post who had also been interviewed, the Forum for National Development and the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament