Fire Minister Kambala; Your Aide Mr President-NACA
A consortium of Civil Society Organisations against corruption has petitioned President Lazarus Chakwera to fire Energy Minister Newton Kambala and his Aide on Strategy and Manifesto Implementation Chris Chaima Banda who are suspected of corruption.
On Monday, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested the duo alongside Tonse Alliance partner, Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) President Enock Chihana, on allegations that they are embroiled in attempted corruption in awarding fuel supply contracts at the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA).
The National Anti-Corruption Alliance (NACA), comprising Youth And Society (YAS), Malawi Law Society (MLS), Church And Society of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), feels firing the two will pave way for thorough investigations, as ACB continues to build a case against the suspects.
NACA Chairperson Moses Mkandawire has challenged President Chakwera to fire the two despite that they have not been found guilty by a court of law, adding the President is at liberty to re-appoint them in future in the event the court exonerates them.
“We want to ensure that proper investigations are conducted. There should be no interference from someone simply because he is a cabinet minister or an advisor to the president,” said Mkandawire.
Governance Analyst Joseph Chunga concurs with the National Anti-Corruption Alliance. He told Zodiak online that it is only ethical for the president to relieve the two of their duties until the case is concluded in court.
“It’s reasonable for the president to relieve the two of their duties. Whether they are wrong or not that is the duty of the court to decide but the President should not wait for that to take action.”
However, State House says “shouts” of certain individuals cannot compel the president to make hasty decisions.
Director of Communications at State House Sean Kampndeni said President Chakwera is reviewing communication from ACB on the arrests which will inform his next course of action.
Said Kampondeni, “the President will not be forced to fire the Minister and his Aide based on shouts by a group of people who do not have facts of the issue at hand.
The President has just received an official report on the arrests from ACB and is reviewing it. He will be guided by the report to make a decision.”
The graft-bursting body has not formally charged the suspects.