President Peter Mutharika has appointed ousted Lilongwe City South East member of Parliament (MP) Bentley Namasasu as Deputy Ambassador to Japan in a move that might be viewed as appeasement.
However, Namasasu will escape the scrutiny of former fellow legislators in the Public Appointments Committee because Parliament has no mandate to approve appointments of deputy envoys.
A letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from the Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara indicates that Namasasu’s appointment is effective September 15 2017.
“I therefore request you to formalise the appointment by drawing up a contract letter for Mr Namasasu and facilitating his posting,” the letter reads.
Chairperson of the Public Appointments Committee Lingson Belekanyama said his committee had not received information about the appointment.
“The committee does not confirm deputy ambassador appointments but ambassadors and consuls,” he said.
Belekanyama gave examples of former Inspector General of Police Lot Dzonzi who was posted to New York, Grenner Gambatula Nkhata who was posted to South Africa and Ellen Chisale who was posted to Zambia.
In a brief interview yesterday, Namasasu when asked about the appointment said he had no comment.
Namasasu lost his seat earlier this year after the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal nullified results of the parliamentary race in the constituency in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections citing fraud and irregularities. n