Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika has accused the public appointment committee of thwarting his anti-corruption campaign effort. This follows the rejection of his nominee -Tomaliyse Ndovi -to head the Anti Corruption Bureau. But the vice chairman of the parliamentary appointment committee, Mark Phiri, has dismissed Mr. Mutharika?s accusation. He said the committee found Ndovi not suitable to head the Anti Corruption Bureau.
Vice chairman Phiri said President Mutharika?s accusations are unfounded.
?The answer there certainly, is it is not true. Unless he has got an interest in the person in question, otherwise the committee did its job like we do every appointee. So what the president is saying is not true,? he pointed out.
Phiri said the committee explained to President Mutharika the reasons behind their decision to reject his nominee.
?The fact of the matter is, we don?t just look at qualification. The committee goes beyond that, and the committee did write to the office of the president and cabinet to tell the president that Mr. Ndovi is not suitable, though he has all the qualifications?so I really don?t understand what the president is saying now,? Phiri noted.
He reiterated the committee?s responsibility in dealing with a presidential nominee for a job.
?Our responsibility as a committee is to interview an appointee, make our assessment and pass on the assessment to the office of the president and cabinet. We gave the office of the president and cabinet why we rejected Mr. Ndovi. So it is of course not our responsibility to announce anything to the nation,? he said.
Phiri said the president has the responsibility to either inform Malawians or not.
?If the President would like the nation to know, which is in my view unique because it was not only Mr. Ndovi who has not been confirmed by the committee, there are several others. But if he is interested that the results of the interview with Mr. Ndovi should be announced to the nation, he can do it. It is his responsibility, he is the head of the state,? he said.
Phiri said the committee declined to make public the reasons behind their decision to reject the president?s nominee because it would have been unethical.
?I can?t say that because it was not our responsibility to broadcast the reasons since some of the findings were very personal. Similarly, in this interview I cannot tell you the reasons?we respect Mr. Ndovi; we respect the president, and we respect privacy,? he said.