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Thursday, July 18, 2024

When Unlawful ‘Commissioner General’ John Biziwick Reports For Work At MRA Headquarters…

By Prof Danwood Chirwa

Illegal: Bizwick reporting to work at MRA headquarters

John Biziwick, recently appointed illegally, has apparently reported for work at MRA headquarters.

The other illegally appointed deputies seem also to have assumed their new roles.This after the newly inaugurated President promised to amend the Constitution in order to trim down the powers of the presidency.

Before the amendment bill has been put forward, the President has claimed powers of appointment at the MRA and in the police service that the law doesn’t not vest in the presidency.

If one is seriously concerned with reducing powers of the presidency, the best way to go about it is not by grabbing powers that are not recognized by the existing law while we await the amendment bill.

Let the President act within the law as it exists in the meantime.The Biziwick issue creates more problems than many imagine.As Biziwick’s appointment is unlawful, he cannot take any valid decisions, whether these are employment-related decisions concerning MRA employees or tax-related decisions affecting taxpayers.

He can also not bind the MRA in transactions involving third parties. So we have a critical institution over which the cloud of illegality hovers. There’s is no justification for knowingly dragging a whole institution down the path of illegality.Then there’s the problem of what happens when the Board is appointed. Apparently, these presidential appointments are temporary.

But the message has already been sent that the President prefers or wants the two gentlemen and lady to take these positions. But Board cannot act under dictation or influence from the President. Board will therefore have to engage in a credible recruitment process of its own for these positions.

For the persons concerned, the appointments have probably negatively impacted on their chances of a longer tenure given that the Board could be challenged if it merely confirmed the President’s appointees.There is a reason why statutory corporations are a hotbed of looting in Malawi and other parts of Africa.

The appointment process of the executive personnel and board members lacks credibility. There’s too much political interference and there’s no respect for skills, experience and integrity.

Statutory corporations are, in short, seen as vehicles for distributing patronage and looting.Now that Biziwick has been handpicked, he comes to the MRA hugely indebted to the appointor. He cannot be expected to act independently.

Board itself will fear him, which means he won’t be accountable to it.The MRA leadership appointments are unlawful, whether temporary or not. Please withdrawn them now to prevent further embarrassment down the line. Appoint the Board and let it in turn appoint suitable candidates to serve the MRA lawfully.

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