The Roads Authority (RA) board has fired chief executive officer Engineer Emmanuel Matapa and director of corporate services Auda Msiska.
Board chairperson Joe Ching’ani confirmed the matter in an interview on Saturday, but referred Nation on Sunday to RA spokesperson Portia Kajanga.
He said: “It is true that the board has terminated his contract. But for more details contact the authority’s spokesperson.
“Msiska’s contract has also been terminated. The reasons are contained in the termination letter.”
On her part, Kajanga just said: “At present, what I can say is that the board of directors of the Roads Authority, has evoked clause 4(b) of Conditions of Employment Contract and terminated the services of CEO.”
Matapa’s dismissal comes a week after RA was fined K6.3 million for violating the Environment Management Act after it started the upgrading of the Kenyatta Drive in Lilongwe before its environmental and social impact assessment report was approved.
President Lazarus Chakwera launched the project, which will expand the road into six lanes, on August 31 this year and since then, RA has cut down dozens of natural mibawa trees, triggering an outcry from environmentalists.
The Malawi Environmental Protection Authority imposed the fine which the RA is expected to pay within 30 days before the project can resume.
Matapa was appointed CEO in August 2017 after rising through the ranks, having joined the authority, then known as National Roads Authority, in 2001.
Matapa did not pick up his phone his when we tried to seek his reaction.
However, Human Rights Consultative Committee chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba in an interview suspected foulplay in his dismissal, alleging that the board had already been working to get rid of him.
He said: “It’s an unfortunate situation. We have been noting the irregular conduct of the board. In a normal situation, the board is supposed to meet four times a year, but they met six times in six months and we gathered that the agenda was always to terminate his contract.”
Mkwezalamba said his organisation reported the matter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau so it could investigate the board’s conduct.
“The bureau asked us to furnish it with more information and we did that. And we are waiting for feedback as to how they have progressed with the matter,” he said.