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MRA acts on ACB demand

Withdraws 71 ‘dubious’ job offers

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Steven Kapoloma

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has officially withdrawn 71 job offers for the position of Revenue Officers after the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stopped the recruitment on the basis that it breached the authority’s procedures.

A letter to one of the prospective employees, which The Daily Times has seen, says MRA has made the decision after ACB directed the withdrawal of the offers.

“We write to advise that the ACB concluded its investigation on the matter and made findings of serious breach of the Malawi Revenue Authority recruitment process. Pursuant to section 10(4) of the Corrupt Practices Act, ACB has directed the withdrawal of employment in view of the said breach.

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“In view of [that], MRA is obliged to comply with the directive and recommendation made by the ACB under the Corrupt Practices Act. As such, the contract of employment on the said offer cannot be legally binding,” reads the letter in part.

ACB stopped the recruitment after it received a complaint of “serious breach” of the processes where those who were supposed to get the jobs had their names allegedly swapped with those of undeserving ones.

Addressing the media some time back, ACB Director- General Reyneck Matemba had said the bureau’s investigations into the recruitment process revealed that out of 125 employees, 71 did not deserve to be employed but only replaced those who had undergone all the necessary processes for the job.

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“According to our findings, MRA interviewed 487 candidates and selected 125 for the job. The 125 names were then sent to the National Intelligence Service for vetting [NIS]. While the NIS was still vetting the list, MRA went ahead to offer the jobs to the 125 people swapping 71 candidates with others who had attended the interviews but failed to make the grade,” he had said.

MRA spokesperson Steven Kapoloma asked for more time before commenting on the matter.

“Let me check with the Human Resource Department. I will come back to you,” Kapoloma said.

Meanwhile, government has intensified a campaign to purge out of the public service officers who were also allegedly offered jobs without following procedures.

Some of the affected officers are directors and Principal Secretaries. Minister of Information Gospel Kazako said the “purging” process will continue and that more public officers will be affected.

While acknowledging that those who did not follow procedures need to be justly handled, social and political commentators have been warning government against firing officers without equally following procedures, saying the decisions may eventually become costly.

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