Ombudsman Martha Chizuma has said she has commenced investigations into irregularities in the recruitment of National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Hellen Buluma, and Roads Authority (RA) Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Matapa.
In two separate notices to Buluma and Matapa, Chizuma says her office would also probe irregularities in the recruitment of other top staff in the two institutions.
Chizuma said the investigations have been ignited by complaints her office has received on the matters.
The ombudsman said she received three complaints against Buluma which query her recruitment as Deputy Chief Executive Officer, claiming that the position does not exist on the Nocma organogram and that Buluma did not attend any interviews.
“The complaint states that there was no vacancy advertised, no competition and you were allegedly hand-picked and given the job as political appeasement and consolation for your loss in parliamentary elections where you stood on a [Democratic Progressive Party] ticket and also as a mechanism for siphoning money from Nocma,” reads the letter to Buluma.
Chizuma says the probe would also look at the allegation of irregularities in importation of fuel into the country as well as abuse of power by Buluma to suspend some staff at Nocma.
In the letter addressed to Matapa, Chizuma says her office received a complaint that he was appointed RA CEO after being Director of Maintenance for only eight months.
“The complaint states that this CEO post was not advertised and interviews were not held against the requirements of the RA Conditions of Service.
“The complaint considers your recruitment as CEO as irregular and unfair as it did not offer some equally deserving officers an opportunity to compete for the post as good practice demands,” Chizuma says.
The ombudsman has asked both Buluma and Matapa to furnish her office with comprehensive responses to the allegations against them and their institutions.