The Public Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday met Minister of Energy Newton Kambala over the standoff in the fuel supply contracts at State-owned National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma).
Public Appointments Committee chairperson Joyce Chitsulo in an interview confirmed the meeting, saying the committee met the minister as part of the review to fire the Mera board.
She said: “As you may know, the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament has powers to confirm the board of Mera [Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority] and also confirm its removal. What we are trying to do is to go to the bottom of the matter and find the root cause of the issues at Nocma. What we don’t want to do is to fire the board and end up with the same situation when another board has been appointed.
“So, we met the minister because he was mentioned in the issue, but also because we want to understand how the ministry interprets the role of the board of Mera and other relevant issues. We are trying to be methodical and also adhere to rules of natural justice.”
When contacted yesterday, Kambala confirmed meeting the committee, but said the chairperson was better placed to comment.
“All I can say is that responded to the committee with a written response and presented myself for questions. For details, please contact the chairperson,” he said.
The House’s Natural Resources Committee of Parliament recommended that the board of Mera be dismissed over its stance to stop Nocma from going ahead with various procurement processes, attracting controversy over allegations and counter allegations of corruption and political interference.
Kambala alongside presidential aide Chris Banda and Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Enock Chihana were reported to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly attempting to influence Nocma deputy chief executive officer Hellen Buluma to select companies favoured by them.