Malawians suspect foul play in Chizuma’s rejection

Malawians have questioned Members of Parliament’s decision to reject the appointment of Martha Chizuma as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) boss.

Chizuma appeared before Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament this morning for confirmation following her appointment by President Lazarus Chakwera. Before the appointment, Chizuma reportedly emerged top in technical interviews for the position.

After interviewing Chizuma, Member PAC rated her. According to PAC chairperson Joyce Chitsulo, for someone to be confirmed they have to score 17 out of 25 and Chizuma got an average rate of 14.

“We did everything procedurally. The process was according to the law; however, people are not happy with the decision,” she said.

However, Malawians are not impressed, saying it appears there was a plot involving members of the committee to reject Chizuma.

“We got wind long before her appointment was announced that there was an underground plan to torpedo her appointment. Now here we are,” said activist Onjezani Kenani.

Fellow social media activist Idriss Ali Nassah also suspected foul play on the part of those who voted against Chizuma. He said he will file a request to get details of the confirmation hearing.

“I am getting details of how each member of the committee voted. Of particular interest is of those who voted against Ms. Chizuma’s confirmation. We will challenge them to publicly show the courage of their convictions by telling the people of Malawi how, and why, they came to a NO. We know it was a scheme and a collusion by those with crimes to hide. So we will beat the dog until the owner comes out,” said Nassah.

Malawians have also expressed concern that PAC member Lilian Patel only showed up for only one of six questions but was allowed to rate Chizuma for the whole hearing.

“Confirmed Hon. Lillian Patel missed the whole interview and only showed up in the last few minutes of voting to score Martha a 1/25…how?” wrote Hellen Chabunya.

Patel, in an interview with the local media has confirmed that she attended the hearing for about one hour and found her colleagues tackling question five of out of six questions.

Meanwhile, PAC chair Chitsulo has said any member of the committee who is not satisfied with the results can move her office and the rating can be retaken.

Many Malawians on social media want Chizuma to become ACB boss following her stellar performance in her current role as Ombudsman.