The Office of Ombudsman has summoned the Export Development Fund (EDF) board to testify in the ongoing investigation into the hiring of its chief executive officer Gerald Nsomba.
In an interview, Ombudsman Grace Malera confirmed both the investigation and summoning of EDF board members.
She said they will appear to testify on what they know about the recruitment.
Malera said: “The complaint made an allegation that this person [Nsomba] was offered a job without attending interviews.
“The second complaint was that he does not have relevant qualifications for the job as per its advertisement, so we have been working on the complaint and we are now on the final stages.”
EDF, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBM, was established in 2012 as a development finance institution (DFI) to address the gap in generating bankable projects and providing financing to check persistent foreign currency imbalances.
The EDF board at the time of Nsomba hiring comprised Tim De Borde, Kenneth Matupa, Christina Chatima, Prince Kapondamgaga, Beyard Namale, Agnes Sentala, Henry Mathanga, Efford Goneka and ex-RBM governor Dalitso Kabambe.
The board hired Nsomba as chief executive officer in 2020. But according to a complaint sent to the Ombudsman, he was allegedly recruited without any interviews.
The complaint further indicates that Nsomba had previously attended interviews at the company four years earlier. In between his known interview and recruitment, the position of CEO was filled with two CEOs seconded from RBM.
Malera said Kabambe and Kapondamgaga will be first to testify while the remaining witnesses to the inquiry are likely to testify during the coming weeks.
“We have completed most of the witnesses so as RBM was the sole shareholder, we have had witnesses from the RBM and all board members of the EDF,” she added.
In September last year, RBM officials including the Governor Wilson Banda were also summoned to appear before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to explain how EDF has operated without a licence for over nine years.
Members of the committee also questioned the EDF was under its illegitimate mandate issuing billions in loans to institutions fearing institutions that owe it may not pay back, with an excuse of it being an illegal institution. PAC chairperson Shadreck Namalomba at the time accused RBM of double standards by policing other financial institutions to have operational licences while its subsidiary, EDF, has been operating for years without one.