Malawi Members of Parliament (MP) have doubted the independence of the Director of Public Officers Assets, Liabilities Declarations who would be appointed and dismissed by the President and only confirmed by a committee of Parliament, Public Appointments.
Section 7 (1) of the Declaration of Assets bill which was tabled in Parliament on Monday states that the director Public Officers Declarations would be appointed by the President ‘on such terms and conditions as the president shall determine.’
But this clause has been met with mixed reactions from the House, with Mzimba North MP Goodall Gondwe questioning the director’s independence.
“We have the so-called independent institutions such as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (oDPP) who are not working independently. Appointments, sacking or removal from office should not be done so systemically,” Gondwe said.
Balaka North MP Gertrude Maseko said she was not comfortable with the President as appointing authority for such an important office.
But Minister of Climate Change Management Halima Daud said putting the President as appointing authority would accord the office the respect, seriousness and independence it deserved.
Debate continues today (Wednesday).