Africa-Press – Malawi. Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has told the Tonse Alliance administration to stop undermining determinations of the Ombudsman. In a statement, HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence explained that there is continued attempts by the Executive arm of the Tonse Alliance Government to undermine the constitutional office of the Ombudsman and sweep under the carpet its determinations as evidenced by recent trends.
He added that the blatant attempt to undermine democracy is a sad reminder of the one party authoritative regime where democratic institutions were either stifled completely obliterated.
“As a watchdog organisation, we are extremely saddened to note that several months after the Ombudsman gave a lucid determination on the employment of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) Chief Executive Officer Henry Kachaje, government has not taken any action to respect the determination and Mr Kachaje is still in his office,” he said.
Trapence noted that just last week, the Ombudsman directed the dismissal of National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) Deputy Chief Executive Officer Helen Buluma after it found that all aspects surrounding her employment were illegal.
In her determination, the Ombudsman clearly stated that the contract of Buluma should be terminated immediately because Buluma was appointed without following procedures.
“To our surprise, the government has decided to keep quiet and bury its head in the sand on this clear and straightforward determination by the Ombudsman,” he said.
Trapence therefore demanded that the government through the Attorney General and all other relevant stakeholders should see to it that rule of law is respected and not systematically undermined.
He then said that the office of the Ombudsman is a Constitutional body established to strengthen democracy whose determination ought to be respected. He said the HRDC expects nothing but total adherence and respect of rule of law on the NOCMA determination within 30 days as stipulated by the Ombudsman in its report.