The office of the Ombudsman is investigating National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) chief executive officer (CEO) Alifeyo Banda over his alleged irregular recruitment.
In a letter dated April 21 2021 addressed to Banda, Ombudsman Martha Chizuma has given the CEO up to April 30 to furnish her office with a response in compliance with the investigations.
The letter, among others, states that Banda does not hold the required qualifications for the position and that he was offered a contract at the age of 59 despite his predecessor being told to leave after reaching the age of 60.
Reads the letter in part: “Pursuant to Section 124 of the Constitution, I am expecting you to comprehensively respond to the issues above by submitting to me the whole process that was used for your recruitment, specifically on the issues raised herein.”
According to the letter, it is alleged that Banda holds a bachelor of agriculture and a master of science in human resource management while the advert for the position required an individual with a bachelor in accounting plus a master’s in any management or development related field.
The letter, which has also been copied to Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, further states that Banda continues to serve on the position despite reaching the age of 61.
Initially, the NFGLC CEO was supposed to be investigated alongside the institution’s director of corporate services Arthur Liwonga, who has since died; hence, the Ombudsman only focusing on Banda.
When contacted yesterday, Banda declined to grant an interview.
Our efforts to also engage spokesperson in the Department of Human Resource Management and Development (DHRMD) Ken Manda on the alleged irregular recruitments proved futile as he could not be reached on his known mobile number.
But in a separate interview, the Office of the Ombudsman’s spokesperson Arthur Semba said the investigations are based on complaints received.
He said: “Nonetheless, that is not the only way the office of the Ombudsman is moved to take up matters for investigation. The Ombudsman, using her own discretion, can institute an investigation on her own motion.”
Recently, the office of the Ombudsman has been probing various public institutions on numerous issues, mainly on alleged irregular recruitments and abuse of office following reported complaints.
Semba said to ensure fairness, all parties involved are given an opportunity to be heard or their employers to avail any relevant material related to an investigation.
He said in the end, justice has prevailed in investigations that have so far been concluded.