Government has appointed under-fire Law Commissioner Gertrude Hiwa as new Solicitor General and Secretary to Justice, replacing Janet Banda.
The move comes a few days after civil society organisations (CSOs) raised concerns over the continued employment of Hiwa after her contract as Law Commissioner expired.
Banda, who has served as Solicitor General since 2012, confirmed the development on Friday, saying government had redeployed her to Ministry of Lands as Secretary for Lands.
“Yes, I can confirm that I have received a letter indicating that I am being redeployed as Secretary for Lands and my replacement is Law Commissioner Hiwa,” she said.
Efforts to reach Hiwa, whose contract as Law Commissioner expired on June 23 2018, proved futile On Friday on several attempts.
Hiwa’s appointment comes as the CSOs under the umbrella of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) threatened to sue Chief Secretary to Government Lloyd Muhara for allowing Hiwa to work out of her contract.
But, in an interview, Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director, Timothy Mtambo, whose organisation was one of the civil society groups that petitioned government on the matter, on Friday welcomed the development as a huge relief.
“We would like to commend government for listening to our calls,” he said.
Before being appointed Solicitor General, Banda worked at Law Commission as Chief Law Reform officer.