The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) is seeking a new clerk of Parliament (CoP) following the retirement of the acting CoP Roosevelt Gondwe last month.
Gondwe had been in acting capacity since 2013 when the PSC fired Matilda Katopola, who is currently seeking damages amounting to K500 million ($954 198.47) for unlawful dismissal.
According to the vacancy, the candidate for CoP must have a legal qualification from a recognised institution with vast experience at senior management level of not less than 10 years in the public sector.
“The person should be willing to serve as a servant of Parliament of Malawi; willing to work with all Members of Parliament [MPs] and able to motivate Parliamentary Service staff,” the vacancy reads.
The vacancy also states that the person should be able to develop and maintain good public relations.
This stipulation perhaps follows the acrimonious relationship that Katopola had with MPs and some secretariat staff who accused her of meddling and stifling their activities, especially of committees.
Katopola lost favour with parliamentarians after she was alleged to have dubiously awarded a Parliament contract to her own firm.
She was sent on forced leave in May 2012 before then president Joyce Banda recalled her a month later, but she refused and sued the government for constructive dismissal.
According to Section 55 of the Constitution and Section 16 of the Parliamentary Service Act, the CoP is responsible for managing operations of Parliament, providing procedural advice on parliamentary laws to committees among others.
While a CoP is appointed by the President following recommendations from the PSC, the clerk works under the direction of the Speaker.
Meanwhile, Parliament has also invited applications for the position of ombudsman after the expiry of Tujilane Chizumila’s contract.