By Staff Writer:
Over a month after President Lazarus Chakwera withheld delegation of duties to vice President Saulos Chilima, the department of Public Sector Reforms which Chilima was heading has gone ahead to carry out its normal operations in his absence.
On June 21 this year, Chakwera announced that he had withheld delegation of duties to the vice president following revelations that Chilima was one of the people alleged to have benefitted directly from corruption suspect businessman Zuneth Sattar.
Chakwera argued that he reached at the decision of withholding any delegated duties to Chilima because the Constitution does not provide for his “suspension or removal from it by the President” because he holds that office by the will of Malawian voters.
In an interview, spokesperson in the department of Public Sector Reforms, Suzgo Khunga, said Chilima’s absence has not in any way affected the department’s operations.
“The department continues to support and monitor implementation of reforms in Government Ministries and departments even in the absence of the vice president,” said Khunga.
Meanwhile, governance expert Victor Chipofya is of the view that Chilima’s absence cannot be greatly felt as he was just a figure head heading the department.
“The department has people who carry out duties. It’s a government department so there are people working there. The only one person missing there is the vice president who is delegated by the president. The vice president is more like a figurehead within the institution,” said Chipofya.
On June 1, 2022 Chakwera directed the ACB director General Martha Chizuma to serve his office within 21 days with a report after some top officials in his government including the vice president were named to be involved in Sattar’s corruption dealings.
The ACB is yet to question Chilima over his alleged direct dealing with Sattar.