Ministry of Trade and Industry has justified its decision to prematurely dissolve the board of directors for Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS).
But the ministry’s Principal Secretary Christina Zakeyo, in an interview on Wednesday, could not elaborate on the justification for the line minister’s decision to dissolve the board.
Minister of Trade and Industry Mark Katsonga Phiri and Minister of Water and Sanitation Abida Mia separately issued statements quoting Section 32 of the General Interpretation Act which empowers a responsible minister to appoint or dissolve boards under their jurisdiction.
The statement from Ministry of Trade and Industry dissolving the MBS board reads: “The Ministry of Trade and Industry wishes to inform the general public that the Malawi Bureau of Standards board has been dissolved with immediate effect.”
On Wednesday, Katsonga Phiri refused to state what prompted his decision and instead referred The Nation to the ministry’s spokesperson Mayeso Msokera who said he had no further information on the matter.
And in a statement dated April 14 2022, Mia announced the dissolution of the National Water Resources Authority board.
The premature dissolution of the two boards comes after the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) board of directors resigned en masse on February 27 2022 ahead of a scheduled hearing by the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament.
The hearing followed a request from Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi for their removal due to alleged poor handling of the recruitment of chief executive officer Henry Kachaje.
A source privy to developments in some of the parastatals confided on Wednesday that board members in State-owned institutions were uncertain about their achievement of the government objectives because of interference.
Said the source: “And when a board differs with the authorities, then it is fired and in most cases without prior engagement not talking about the right to be heard or to seek other options.
“It is now as if boards are not needed. A major governance problem is emerging and I will not be surprised if professionals start to decline these appointments.”
In an earlier interview, governance expert Henry Chingaipe said it was important for the government to follow the law when making such decisions to avoid entertaining unnecessary legal battles.