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PAC Clears Macra Director General Cautions Board

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The Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament has cleared Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) director general Daud Suleman of any wrongdoing in his alleged irregular recruitment at the parastatal.

PAC chairperson Joyce Chitsulo said in an interview on Sunday that the Macra board was, however, cautioned over the way Suleman’s recruitment was handled.

She said the position of director general as contained in Macra’s advert required a candidate with a first degree which Suleman does not have, except for an advanced diploma, a master’s degree and several other qualifications.

Said Chitsulo: “We noted that the director general [Suleman] had no problem, he admitted not meeting the particular requirement [of possessing a first degree]. But the board was the one at fault because it made the decision to hire someone with a qualification equivalent to a first degree not indicated in the advert for the position.”

PAC summoned Macra board of directors in November 2021 over Suleman’s alleged irregular recruitment following complaints it received from various individuals and the civil society organisation Forum for National Development (FND).

Chitsulo said PAC was of the view that the Macra board of directors was to blame for not clearly coming out in its advert that it would also consider candidates with a qualification equivalent to a first degree, besides a master’s degree requirement.

She said the decision by the board meant it put other candidates who had first degrees at a disadvantage.

Chitsulo said the board and Suleman were, however, consistent in their explanation pertaining to the recruitment process.

But our efforts to speak to Macra board chairperson Stanley Khaila proved futile as he could not be reached on his mobile number.

Suleman too could not pick up our phone calls when contacted.

But Khaila is on record as having told The Nation edition of November 22 2021 that the recruitment of Suleman followed all the appropriate procedures.

Minister of Information and Digitisation Gospel Kazako also said in a Facebook post on October 13 2021 that Suleman was appointed as Macra’s director general following a “gruelling” competitive process.

He said 11 candidates competed for the position and further pointed out that Suleman was the best candidate.

Suleman’s appointment came after the parastatal was led by an acting director general for five months following nullification of contracts of former director generals Henry Shamu and Godfrey Itaye.

Former Ombudsman Martha Chizuma, now Anti-Corruption Bureau chief, in May 2021 nullified appointments of the duo due to their alleged irregular recruitments at the institution.

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