The reversal of Khumbo Kachali’s appointment as overseer of the Electoral Commission marks the third time that Minister of Justice and former Attorney General, Ralph Kasambara, has had his intentions fail.
It is him who advised the President that Kachali’s appointment to the Electoral Commission was legally sound.
This advice was given despite that the existing arrangement where the elections body reported to the President had no known problem.
It has been typical of Kasambara to mislead people especially where he sees a selfish opportunity.
He misled Bakili Muluzi that he could bounce back from retirement and contest presidential elections in 2009. When things went bad for Muluzi, Kasambara disappeared after eating his money.
He misled Bingu wa Mutharika that Cassim Chilumpha could be sacked as Vice President on premises that he had resigned constructively.
He also misled Mutharika that there was enough evidence to convict Chilumpha on treason charges. He failed to provide to Mutharika the recordings of the alleged assassins (who were supposed to have been hired to kill Mutharika) to prove that adequate evidence really existed. For that failure to provide the recordings, he was sacked as Attorney General.
The second time Kasambara failed in his intentions under Joyce Banda was when government renewed the contract of Charles Nsaliwa as Director General of MACRA.
Kasambara had been lobbying through MACRA chair Martha Kwataine for his friend Saulosi Chilima, the current Airtel Managing Director to replace Nsaliwa.
Kasambara had been fighting Nsaliwa even before he had been appointed into cabinet.
Under the influence of Chilima, Kasambara, using his friend who runs his Pa Station Pub to pose as a concerned citizen, obtained a court injunction against the implementation of the so called spy machine.
The telephone operators are against the machine because, according to MACRA, it will be able to verify the revenues the operators declare to have made.
President Banda supports MACRA’s decision to have the revenues verified.
Chilima’s Airtel is one of those telephone operators against the move.
This is the reason Kasambara wanted Chilima to head MACRA which would have marked the end of the verification system.
The first time Kasambara lost in his intentions is when he tried to sabotage the appointment of judge Rezine Mzikamanda as director of Anti Corruption Bureau for his surrogates John-Gift Mwakhwawa or Wapona Kita.
On the eve of Mzikamanda appearing before the parliamentary appointments committee, Kasambara spent the night lobbying members of the committee to reject the judge.
The reversal of Kachali’s appointment widens the fall out between President Banda and Kasambara, who recently lost his appointment as Attorney General on the grounds of giving questionable advise and making irresponsible statements on government policy.