Centre for Public Accountability wants MERA board to resign

The Centre for Public Accountability has issued a statement demanding the immediate resignation of Mr.
Leonard Chikadya and the entire Board of Directors of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority in relation to their obtained injunction to gag, silence and act above the constitutional rights protector, The Ombudsman. This follows, the board action in obtaining an injunction to stop the Ombudsman from releasing a report that implicates the board for recruiting the unqualified Henry Kachaje as MERA chief executive officer.

In a statement seen by 247malawi news and signed by its acting Director Kondwani Bell Munthali , Centre for public accountability says “The act of gagging a constitutional office from executing its mandate is a gross
violation of the constitution itself, the trust public officials have to maintain with the public under section 12 of the Malawi Constitution and is an affront to public accountability.”

“MERA is a public body under the Energy Regulatory Act (2004) therefore all its decisions are subject to public scrutiny, including the constitutional Office of the Ombudsman. An attempt to circumvent such constitutional body from discharging its mandate reflects the culture of arrogance y those holding public offices and lack of transparency that the MERA board wishes to perpetuate in Malawi.”

Centre for Public Accountability Acting Director Kondwani Bell Munthali

“The Ombudsman determinations can be subjected to a review by the High Court where one is aggrieved. MERA Board has decided to hide information from Malawians as the best remedy for their below standard, archaic and clearly
biased recruitment process”

According to the group This act to gag a Constitutional body, is unprecedented in our short democratic
history, as such we ask the appointing authority of the Board to immediately demand resignation of these undemocratic persons who do not believe in transparency and accountability.

The group say if the board does not resign within 48 hours, they are expect the appointing authorities, if
they have any democratic credentials, to dissolve the MERA Board and a proper review by prosecution bodies be undertaken to determine if they did not breach the law, in their biased and discriminatory recruitment.

Henry Kachaje was appointed MERA CEO in August, a decision that was challenged as some sectors claimed , he is not fully qualified and doesnt have a masters degree which was one of the requirement. The ombudsman received a complaint and they were due to announce final details of the report today before an injunction stopped them.