Although Parliament endorsed Stephen Kamphasa as the new Auditor General nominated by government to replace Reckford Kampanje who retired last year, the country effectively has another person for the same post.
Peter Kamange still holds to a letter that appointed him to the same post pending parliamentary approval.
Kamange, who runs an audit firm called KCC Finance Associates in Lilongwe, told Malawi News on Friday that although he was still waiting for official communication from government to inform him that his name has been withdrawn he was happy that the country now has an Auditor General.
â€śIâ€™m grateful to Her Excellency President Joyce Banda that out of the 13 million Malawians she honoured me with the nomination as the Auditor General of the country,â€ť he said, adding: â€śBut I understand that there were deep political undercurrents at Parliament that blocked my nomination.â€ť
Kamange also said he knows Kamphasa as a professional who is going to serve the country with dedication.
â€śIt was unhealthy for the country to be without an Auditor General and in Mr. Kamphasa we have a competent person to hold that important post,â€ť he said.
Under Section 184 (3) of the Constitution an Auditor General is appointed by the President but it is subject to confirmation by Parliament in an open deliberation.
In January this year, government appointed Kamange to the post but there was heavy resistance in Parliament because of his connection to the ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP).
The Auditor General nominee confirmed he once served as a PP executive member and has no regrets over it.
â€śBut at the time of my appointment I was no longer in the executive,â€ť he said.
Government later realised it would be difficult to push through Kamangeâ€™s name in Parliament and decided to replace him with Kamphasa. But a Malawi News source has indicated that appointment procedures were not followed in the hiring of Kamphasa as he was only â€śnotified of his appointment by a copy of letter that was sent to Parliament after withdrawing the name of Kamangeâ€ť.
The source said instead of the name of Kamphasa emerging from the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) it emerged from the Ministry of Finance which he said was an anomaly.
OPC Spokesperson Arthur Chipenda, however, maintained that Kamphasaâ€™s appointment letter was written by OPC.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Appointments and Declaration of Assets Nick Masebo corroborated this, saying Parliament assessed and confirmed the appointment of Kamphasa after receiving communication from OPC.
On the involvement of the Treasury in the isssue, Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya said the ministry did not make the appointment but only got involved because technically the Minister of Finance was supposed to move the motion to confirm the Auditor General nominee in the House in the absence of a Minister of State in the OPC.
â€śAll the papers originated from the OPC,â€ť insisted Msowoya who said it is the same as when Justice Minister is moving a motion to endorse the appointment of Anti Corruption Bureau director.
Kamphasa, who hails from Mchinji, is a qualified accountant with experience in auditing and accounting, management and consulting. He has held various positions in both the private and public sectors. â€“ By Gregory Gondwe
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