Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of Parliament is meeting this week to interview Malawi’s potential ambassadors to Japan and Zambia and review conditions of service for Malawi Electoral Commission, Malawi Human Rights Commission and the Law Commission.
The meeting started on Monday and runs through Friday.
Pac Deputy Chairperson, Malani Mtonga, confirmed the meeting which he said started with elections for the membership which saw Lingson Belekenyama and Mtonga himself retaining their positions as chairperson and vice, respectively.
Today, the committee is expected to interview Grenenger Msulira Banda, who is ambassador candidate for Japan, and Warren Gunda for Zambia.
“We shall also review conditions for Malawi Electoral Commission, Malawi Human Rights Commission and the Law Commission,” said Mtonga in an interview.
There have been concerns that the Ombudsman and the Law Commissioner, who are permanent members of MHRC, draw double pay from the same public purse, but Belekanyama once said there is nothing that Pac could do because it is in line with the law.
According to conditions of service for MHRC as adopted in 2007 and signed by the then Pac chairperson, Joseph Njobvuyalema, part-time commissioners’ pay and other benefits were pegged at about K650,000 a month.
Belekanyama said the issue of some commissioners receiving double pay is in fact beyond MHRC alone.
“This is also the case with Mec commissioners. For instance, the Chairperson is a High Court Judge and has benefits from both institutions. This is according to the law. As Pac, we set conditions of service according to the law, so there is nothing that we can do unless the law is changed,” Belekanyama said.
He added that, in fact, there are other public officials in different commissions who enjoy double pay from the same public purse.
Regarding the MHRC part-time commissioners’ double pay issue, the commission’s Executive Secretary, Grace Malera, said the review of the MHRC Act, would look into the matter.
But the MHRC Act which was recently passed by Parliament, did not make changes on the part-time commissioners’ benefits.
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