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Clerk of Parliament retires after 28 years

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Longest serving Clerk of Parliament (CoP) Roosevelt Gondwe is retiring after serving the National Assembly for 28 years under all presidents who have ruled this country.

Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya confirmed the development, saying Gondwe has reached a mandatory retirement age.

“Mr. Gondwe has reached a mandatory age of 60 and the law says that you cannot be Clerk of Parliament after you reach 60 years. It’s not the Parliamentary Service Commission that has not renewed his contract. If we were to renew his contract we would be contravening the parliamentary service act,” said Msowoya.

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Gondwe will be proceeding on annual leave pending the expiry of his contract next month. Effectively he leaves office Friday next week. In the meantime, he is handing over his powers to be split between his two deputies Henry Njolomole and Renard Mapemba.

Gondwe told The Daily Times yesterday that from next month Parliament will have to recruit another Clerk younger than him.

“I was on a one year contract which expires end of this month. This also coincides with my mandatory retirement age in October,” he said.

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Gondwe said he has worked for Parliament since 1983 under all the presidents of this country.

“In between I had a break of four years when I was sent to diplomatic mission but upon my return in 2013 I was assigned again by former president Joyce Banda. When the new President Peter Mutharika came into power he gave me a one year contract,” he said.

Gondwe was born on October 7, 1955 and obtained his LLB in Malawi and his LLM in Public Law in London. He also received a Certificate in Legislative Drafting in London and a Certificate in Parliamentary Practices and Procedures in New Zealand.

He has worked as a legal aid advocate in the Ministry of Justice and served as the Commissioner for Lands. He once chaired the Association of Clerks of Parliaments in Commonwealth Africa.

Former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika deployed Gondwe to foreign service and replaced him with Matilda Katopola. But in August 2013, former president Joyce Banda hired Gondwe again as acting Clerk of Parliament following the suspension of Katopola who is suing government over labour disputes for the same position.

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