YAS calls for decisive action on Ombudsman report

Youth and Society (YAS) has appealed to relevant authorities to expedite action on different directives put forth by Ombudsman Martha Chizuma in her “Upholding the Profession” report.  

The report, which faulted former Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale and the then Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah, has exposed acts of abuse of power and maladministration in the procedure of procuring and engaging South African (SA) Lawyers by the two senior public officials.

According to YAS, which lodged a complaint to Office of the Ombudsman on the matter, much as it is commendable that truth has prevailed on the matter, there is need to take decisive action on governments officials who flout procedures.

“Our immediate action is that we are happy, we lodged a complaint and the Office of the Ombudsman has acted upon it and we are impressed that the truth we wanted to see has come out.

“A lot of individuals in this country holding different positions most of the times take their positions for granted so they end up floating all the laws by not being professional so to us we believe that reports like this one will serve as a lesson to many so that when they are in office they should act professionally and follow the law,” said Amos Simwera, YAS`s Programmes Manager.

Simwera added that the findings of the report sends a serious warning to all civil servants who execute their duties with laxity.

“Going forward we believe that we will see change in the people that are holding high offices, they should know that time will come when they will be held accountable,” he said.

The Ombudsman’s investigation was motivated by a complaint dated April 14, 2020 lodged by YAS.

The Complaint alleged that Kaphale committed various acts of maladministration in the manner in which he procured the services of SA Lawyers Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza Senor Counsel (SC) and Counsel Elizabeth Makhanani Baloyi-Mere.

The report has also faulted former Chief Secretary Justice Lloyd Muhara for playing a big role in the illegal appointment of Madalitso M’meta as board member and Chairperson of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Asset Authority (PPDA).

The Ombudsman has since directed the Judicial Service Commission in accordance with its powers under section 118 of the Constitution to determine on the suitability and competency of Justice Muhara to hold the position of a judge of the High Court.

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