Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament has summoned Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) board of directors to respond to allegations that newly hired director general (DG) Daud Suleman was irregularly recruited.
In an interview on Friday, PAC chairperson Joyce Chitsulo said her committee has moved to investigate the recruitment following complaints they have been receiving on the matter.
“It’s true we have summoned Macra over the recruitment of the parastatal’s director general following complaints that we have been receiving on the matter. So, we would like to hear from the Macra board on the matter,” she said.
Chitsulo said PAC has scheduled its meeting with the Macra board of directors this weekend.
She said her committee has received complaints from several individuals and the civil society organisation Forum for National Development.
Chitsulo said that after the meeting, PAC will determine on how to proceed.
In a separate telephone interview yesterday, Macra board chairperson Stanley Khaila confirmed receiving a notice from PAC for the said meeting to explain on the recruitment process.
He said: “We have indeed been requested by the Public Appointments Committee to report on the processes that the board of directors undertook to recruit the director general. According to the letter, we are only being asked to explain on the steps followed.”
But Khaila said he could not comment on any allegations of a flawed recruitment process, stressing that contents of the letter PAC has written them only border on explanation of processes followed in the recruitment process.
He said the board followed procedures in the recruitment of the new DG.
Section 19 (1) of the Communications Act gives powers to the Macra board to appoint the DG who shall be the chief executive officer of the authority and shall, subject to the general supervision of the authority, be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the authority.
Further, Section 19 (2) of the Communications Act states that the DG shall be a person with sufficient experience and qualifications in either the communications industry, finance, economics, engineering, accountancy, commerce, law or administration and shall be required to demonstrate knowledge and excellence in one or more of the areas of electronic communications, postal and broadcasting services.
Minister of Information Gospel Kazako announced Suleman’s appointment in a Facebook post on October 13, saying he excelled from a competitive interviewing process which the board conducted. He said there were 11 candidates shortlisted.
Suleman’s appointment came after the parastatal had been running with an acting director general for five months following nullification of the contracts of former DGs Henry Shamu and Godfrey Itaye by the Office of the Ombudsman in May this year due to their alleged irregular recruitments.
Shamu, who is former postmaster general and was seconded from Malawi Posts Corporation as director general, was not subject of the complaint, but the Ombudsman said she reviewed his employment as a matter that emerged in the Macra investigation.