Stimulating the much needed debate

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) saga is refusing to die as its Board Chair Martha Kwataine has expressed loss of trust and confidence in the Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu and his Principal Secretary (PS) Anthony Livunza accusing them of leaking confidential information to the media.

Ms. Kwataine is also demanding answers from government as to what is so special about Macra “so much that it (government) can bend its own policy?”

Meanwhile, Kwataine is calling for an emergency meeting at any time when both Kunkuyu and Livunza are ‘free’ beginning from Wednesday January 9, 2013, this blogger has established.

In a letter dated January 6, 2013 which is a direct response to Kunkuyu, the board chair argued that the article which appeared in the Weekend Nation regarding Nsaliwa’s contract clearly shows that the minister took the board minutes to the reporter.
This, according to Kwataine, was not only aimed at embarrassing her, but unethical.

She also alleges that one senior government official is in the habit of printing email communications amongst the Macra board members for high authorities.

“Besides, the article clearly indicates that it is the minister who took the board minutes to the reporter which is unethical. I am well informed that one senior government official within the board has been printing email communications amongst board members to higher authorities. This is very unethical and embarrassing. How assured are we that such communications do not leak to the media?” reads the last but one paragraph of the letter in my possession.

The tough-speaking health rights activist has warned that no single member of the board has the mandate to conduct a press briefing over the matter arguing she is the only one mandated to do so. “As far as am concerned, I am the only spokesperson of the board and nobody else is,” reads the letter.

In the letter, Kwataine is accusing Kunkuyu of flouting government laid procedures in the renewal of Nsaliwas’ contract. “All along I have been wondering and questioning what is special about Macra so much so that Government can bend its own policy in order to accommodate the renewal of the contract” she wondered.

“I should think you will give me answers to my question and examples of parastatal organizations whose CEOs had their contracts renewed without following the government policy. But for me I have examples like ESCOM, MERA, NACIT and others whose vacancies were in the papers following government policy,” said Kwataine who is also Executive Director for the Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN).

According to her, the Nsaliwa saga is a repeat of the previous regime mistakes where government would willy-nilly ignore its own policies in order to serve personal interests. She further alleges that Malawians know that Kunkuyu hijacked the whole process and went behind their back (the board) and recommended Nsaliwa to President Joyce Banda.

She however, stood by what she said in the Weekend Nation story and vowed to continue speaking the truth.

Nsaliwa who was appointed by former president late Bingu wa Mutharika had his contract renewed recently in dubious circumstances.

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