Malawi: ACB Busts Malawi Revenue Authority Dubious Recruitment

13 August 2020

The country's graft-busting body Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has released its findings of investigations into the recruitment at the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) following complaints of unfair job offers in the process that were reported in April 2020, saying the process was fraudulent and has asked the tax -collecting body to replace 127 unqualified recruit.

Releasing the report in Lilongwe at a news conference on Tuesday, ACB director Reyneck Matemba said 533 candidates were invited for interviews by MRA, 487 were interviewed with 125 were selected.

Matemba said the list of 125 candidates was then sent to National Intelligence Service (NIS) for vetting.

The ACB found that the NIS had no legal mandate to vet posts of customs and revenue officers.

And while the vetting was in process, out of the 125 candidates, 71 not on the initial list of the successful candidates, were offered jobs without merit.

"Out if the 125 candidates 71 names were not in the list of successful candidates. The main finding is that 71 candidates did not qualify for the jobs. Their grades were below standard and they found their way on the second list without merit," said Matemba.

The ACB director said it was illegal for the state spy agency to do the vetting as the posts in question did not require such a process.

"Some of the questions that were being asked were inappropriate. They were asked if the candidates had any connection with the ruling party, their district of origin, the issue of tribe, with the idea to kick out some from the list," he said.

Among those that benefitted from the fraudulent recruitment were relatives of the ousted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government officials - Nicholas Dausi and Charles Mchacha - as well as senior MRA managers.

Already, the public tax collector has a number of its staff appointed through similar dubious means.

Most of the officers at the Msonkho House were not employed on merit but through DPP connections.

ACB also found that two senior officers at MRA who he did not name breached procedural requirements and abused their offices.

He said the bureau will rap the two senior MRA officers who may have committed other crimes in the process, saying their arrest is looming.

Unfortunately, Julius Makondetsa, the man who sued the ACB, was not on the list of successful candidates, with Matemba saying "even if MRA were to recruit 400 candidates, his grade would not have warranted him to be on the successful list."

The ACB has since recommended that thesuccessful candidates should be offered the jobs at MRA on merit.

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