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HRDC firm on Martha Chizuma demonstrations

TRAPENCE— HRDC will seek court intervention

BUSINESS DONE—Chizuma after being interviewed

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has said it will still hold demonstrations at Parliament Building Tuesday against the Public Appointment Committee (Pac) of Parliament’s rejection of Martha Chizuma as Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

The coalition called for the demonstrations immediately after the public was made aware that Pac had rejected to confirm Chizuma as ACB chief after rating her 14.9 out of 25 points against the recommended minimum requirement for the job of 17 points.

Several quarters have commented on the outcome, including President Lazarus Chakwera, who criticised Pac for rejecting Chizuma and asked the august House to reconsider the position.

Pac is expected to furnish Parliament with reasons behind the rejection of Chizuma after the House passed a motion calling on the committee to provide an explanation.

HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence said they would proceed with the demonstrations to demand justice in the way Pac managed the confirmation process.

“If the committee report proves that the process was fair, which we don’t agree with, HRDC will seek court intervention,” he said.

Speaking in a televised interview on Times Television, Pac Chairperson Joyce Chitsulo said she was ready to report to the House on what transpired during their meeting with Chizuma.

“It’s just unfortunate that Monday [today] is a holiday but I wanted to submit it [the report] so that Malawians are aware as we were ordered to do. But I am ready and will be happy because people will be taken through the process. Because out there people can even stone you when you are just innocent,” she said.

Chitsulo maintained that it was a collective decision made by the committee through the scoring rating method, which was done secretly.

Earlier, Malawi Law Society (MLS) said the Corrupt Practices Act is silent on what happens if Pac does not confirm an appointment of an ACB Director-General by the President.

Quoting Section 6(2) and 6A(6) of the Corrupt Practices Act, MLS President Patrick Mpaka said, as matters stand, the President can resubmit the same name before Pac or choose another name from the list that was given by the Minister of Justice and submit to Pac.

Mpaka said the other option is to have the whole process started all over to generate fresh names to appoint and submit before Pac for confirmation.

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