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Court stops transfer of Nkhotakota DC

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The High Court in Mzuzu on Wednesday stopped transfer of District Commissioner for Nkhotakota Felix Mkandawire to the Local Government and Rural Development Headquarters following his complaint that the Ministry failed to give any reasons for his transfer and a new specific post he will hold at Capital Hill.

Justice Dingiswayo Madise granted Mkandawire leave to move for judicial review of the Ministry’s decision to transfer him and all proceedings leading to the transfer.

The judge also stayed the transfer of Mkandawire and granted him an order of injunction restraining the Ministry and its agents, servants and whosoever from transferring him.

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According to a letter of posting dated June 16, 2015 and signed by a J. Somanje for the Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development, no reasons for Mkandawire’s transfer were given.

“The exigencies of service necessitate your immediate posting from Nkhotakota District to Ministry’s Headquarters while waiting for appropriate deployment,” reads the two paragraphed letter and it concludes “I should be grateful if you could arrange to report for duties at the Ministry’s Headquarters as soon as possible”.

However, confirming the court’s stoppage of Mkandawire’s transfer, his lawyer Leonard Mbulo said Section 43 of the Constitution of Malawi says that reasons must be provided for fair administrative action, hence the Ministry was supposed to provide reasons for the transfer and specify his new position.

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“Our client has legitimate expectation to know. As per the letter of posting, it means Mr. Mkandawire will just be loitering in the corridors of the Ministry Headquarters like a mad man,” said Mbulo.

Local Government Ministry spokesperson Mulha base Mughogho said she could only comment that Mkandawire, who has served as District Commissioner in various districts for 20 years and is at Grade D/P2, has been posted to the Ministry Headquarters.

“I can only confirm that Mr. Mkandawire has been posted to the Ministry Headquarters but I cannot comment much on the injunction because I have not yet seen a copy of it,” said Mughogho.

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