There has been a shake-up at Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) and Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) after government on Wednesday redeployed Macra director general Andrew Kumbatira back to MPC.
On the other hand, MPC postmaster general Godfrey Itaye is now heading to Macra as director general. Ironically, Itaye replaced Kumbatira at MPC last year from Macra where he previously served as deputy director of postal services.
Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa Wednesday evening confirmed the swap of the two parastatal heads.
Kumbatira had replaced Charles Nsaliwa at Macra last Sepetmber.
On Wednesday, Kumbatira feigned ignorance about the changes, referring The Nation to the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture.
He said he was also hearing about the developments from the media.
Said Kumbatira: “I don’t know. I don’t have any official communication. So, I cannot say anything, talk to government.”
However, an email communication Kumbatira sent to all Macra employees Wednesday morning, which The Nation has seen, confirmed his removal.
Reads Kumbatira’s communication titled Leaving Macra: “Dear Team & Friends, this is to inform you that I have been re-assigned back to MPC. I may not get the opportunity to handshake each one of you, but I want to say that it was a real pleasure working with you. My stay has been short, but very fulfilling in many ways and I will always cherish the good times.”
In a separate interview, Itaye said he had also heard about the news, but was yet to get an official communication.
Macra sources confided in The Nation that Kumbatira could have been removed from Macra because of a thorny working relationship with the board of directors.
His appointment as Macra director general last year was described by legal and governance experts as unlawful after Nation on Sunday, in its September 28 2014 edition, disclosed that President Peter Mutharika flouted Chapter Three of the Communications Act when he made the appointment without involving the Macra board.
The chapter states that the Minister of Information shall, on recommendation of the board, appoint the director general. However, Kumbatira’s appointment, according to the board chairperson then, Martha Kwataine, was not recommended by the board.
Kumbatira, a former executive director of Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn), was appointed as MPC postmaster general by former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika in October 2010.