Ombudsman Grace Malera has accused the Lazarus Chakwera administration of lying that the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) board met and retained NOCMA deputy chief executive officer Helen Buluma, saying the NOCMA board was dissolved before September 30 this year and it is yet to be reconstituted.
Malera has said this in her letter addressed to Colleen Zamba, who is Secretary to the President and Cabinet-SPC, and copied to Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda.
The letter follows a decision by Zamba who is chairperson of NOCMA to retain Buluma despite Malera’s determination that Buluma was appointed without following procedures by the Peter Mutharika administration.
In the letter dated November 3, the Ombudsman wondered how the NOCMA board met when it is yet to be reconstituted, saying the development raises questions about how the board which his yet to be reconstituted to date convened and decided to retain Buluma.
“I am aware that boards of a number of state owned companies including NOCMA stood dissolved as of September 30 2022, the day the determination was released…Kindly be reminded of the fundamental principle espoused in Section 12 (ii) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi , as to the exercise of powers of state on the part of those to whom such powers have been entrusted,” reads part of the letter.
Malera has also faulted Zamba for defying the determination of the Ombudsman saying NOCMA as respondent institution can only comply with the directives in the determination, or go to court for a review of the determination in question.
She added that Zamba, by retaining Buluma and refusing to implement the Ombudsman’s ruling, is acting illegally since no court has made a ruling to set aside the Ombudsman’s order.
“Considering the supreme place and role of your office as Secretary to the President and Cabinet, in an administration that touts the rule of law as one of its founding principles, the actions of your office in this regard seriously counter the very ethos the current administration is championing,” reads part of the letter.
Malera has since asked the Attorney General to assist for a legally acceptable conduct on the matter going forward.
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