Malawi: SPC Zangazanga Caught Up in Tobacco Commission Appointments Mess - Ombudsman Probing

23 November 2020

Secretary to the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC}) Zangazanga Chikhosi has found himself in a mess - after it has been established that he endorsed some dubious appointments at Tobacco Commission (TC).

Barely days in office on June 29, 2020 Zangazanga approved a three -year contract for Emily Banda Egolet as Director of Human Resource and Administration even when he was aware that her appointment was fraudulent.

Egolet, a known operative for the previous regime, was appointed on June 18, 2020 and she accepted the offer -the following day on June 19, just four days before fresh presidential elections.

She was appointed in the absence of TC Board as required by the Tobacco Industry Act.

"Former Controller for Statutory Corporation Stuart Ligomeka made this appointment with support from Lloyd Muhara (Chief Secretary to the Government then) and I do not think TC CEO had any power to reject it when the appointment was done by OPC at that level. He knew it was wrong but what else could he do when Muhara and Ligomeka were the top gurus making the appointment," said a new board member at TC.

The new administration had opportunity to correct the wrong but surprisingly, Zangazanga Chikhosi directed that Egolet Banda be given a contract.

Chikhosi then directed Principal Secretary for OPC, convict Cliff Chiunda to sign the contract on behalf of government after going through the documents.

"Emily Banda is manipulative. Within a short period of time she found herself to Zangazanga Chikhosi and her hefty contract was approved," added the board member who indicated that the chairperson {Harry Mkandawire} is considering engaging President Lazarus Chakwera on the conduct of Chikhosi.

Further to this mess - Chikhosi is shielding another employee at TC Juliana Chidumu-Somba Banda from being de-seconded.

While working as Controller for Statutory Corporation in 2015, Chikhosi, dubiously, seconded Chidumu-Nsomba Banda to State House and later to Malawi's foreign mission in India yet she continues to draw her salary as Public Relations Officer for TC even when her position is currently filled which is against Malawi Public Service Regulations.

A number of public officers who were seconded without procedure under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration have been de-seconded.

"Why is Chidumu not deseconded? TC pays her about K1, 560, 000 every month plus allowances she gets for Foreign Service. This is not fair. Foreign Affairs must refund TC. But all this mess has Zangazanga Chikhosi connected to it.

"One wonders how the President settled for his name as SPC when he is into blunders. It will cost the President a name to maintain the guy as SPC," said the TC board member.

Ombudsman Martha Chizuma is currently investigating these recruitments.

The Ombudsman's investigation will surely crucify the SPC, according to insiders.

More From: Nyasa Times

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