Ombudsman faults Mutharika on Magalasi’s appointment

Findings of a report by the Office of the Ombudsman have revealed that appointment and employment of former Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) Chief Executive Officer Collins Magalasi was irregular and illegal.

Presenting the report findings on Friday morning in Lilongwe, Ombudsman Martha Chizuma said President Peter Mutharika bypassed the MERA Board by appointing Magalasi following a proposal from the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Chizuma therefore directed that Magalasi should not claim his employment benefits, and if any payment was made it should be reversed to the Authority.

The report, which has been titled “Institutional Anarchy”, has also recommended the demotion of other MERA senior officers following their irregular and fraudulent employment.

“There is need for MERA to liaise with the Department of Controller of Statutory Corporations (DCG) and get all the documentation pertaining to the recruitment of all its members of staff.

It is therefore, expected that the Board will have custody of the necessary documentation and as far as I am concerned, that can happen if that said documents can also be found at MERA,” directed Ombudsman Chizuma.

Meanwhile MERA Board Member Phyllis Manguliti says the Authority will act on the recommendations and directions  by the Ombudsman.

“We have received the report from the Honourable Ombudsman, our Board was instituted and we started operating in December 2020 and I am sure from the report you can see that whatever was happening we were not around.

Going forward we will go through it, there are determinations that have been made, we have also been requested to give feedback on certain different things, we are going to give feedback accordingly be assured that the new Board was professionally instituted,” said Manguliti.

The report has also dismissed a complaint on appointment of Ishmael Chioka as MERA Acting Chief Executive Officer.

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