Tobacco Commission (TC) has suspended deputy chief executive officer (CEO) Levi Phelani to pave the way for the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate his recruitment.
The TC board has also terminated the contract of director of human resource and administration Emily Banda Egolet purportedly because her recruitment in June this year did not follow laid out procedures.
Both the suspension of Phelani and firing of Egolet are with effect from November 10 2020, according to copies of the letters we have seen.
TC board chairperson Harry Mkandawire also confirmed the developments in a written response yesterday.
The developments have come three weeks after the Office of the Ombudsman sought an explanation on the recruitment of the officers in question from former TC CEO Kayisi Sadala whose contract expired on November 6 2020.
In an earlier interview, Mkandawire also confirmed about the termination of contract for another TC deputy CEO David Luka who was seconded to Chitedze Research Station.
While TC had two deputy CEOs, the terms and condition of service for the institution do not provide for such posts, according to a letter of complaint from concerned TC staff to the Ombudsman.
Egolet was appointed on June 18 2020 as director of human resources and administration in a communication from the Office of the President and Cabinet through the comptroller of Statutory Corporations. She accepted the offer on June 19 2020.
Ombudsman Martha Chizuma in an interview yesterday said she was yet to conclude public hearings in relation to her investigation on allegation of irregular appointments and abuse of office at TC.