The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) has fired its director general (DG) Elias Hausi and appointed deputy DG Ireen Mlewa as acting head of the authority.
In an internal memorandum to staff dated March 11 2021 signed by PPDA principal human resource officer Elita Mwale communicating the changes, the authority said Mlewa, who was suspended alongside Hausi on December 24 2020, had been retained in her position and will also act as DG.
Reads the internal memo we have seen: “On behalf of PPDA’s board of directors, I would like to inform you all that Mr. Elias Hausi is no longer the director general of the authority and that the deputy director general Mrs Ireen Mlewa will be reporting back to work.
“This automatically means that the deputy director general will be acting director general until such a time when the position will be filled.”
While Hausi and Mlewa served their suspensions, the PPDA board had appointed the authority’s assistant director (Regulatory and Review Department) Timothy Kalembo as acting DG effective December 24. Following the developments, Kalembo has now returned to his position.
In an earlier statement PPDA spokesperson Grace Thipa said the appointment was in line with Section 14 (1) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act of 2017.
However, at the time, the statement did not indicate the reasons why the duo was suspended. But sources indicated that the suspensions were to pave the way for investigations into alleged abuse of office.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Hausi confirmed being dismissed from PPDA, but said the board was in a better position to explain the reasons.
He said: “That is true [that I have been dismissed] I can confirm, but for the reasons, let me say you should ask the board chairperson. Let us do it that way.”
On his part, PPDA board chairperson John Suzi-Banda referred the issue to Thipa on the basis that she is in charge of media engagements.
Thipa asked for more time to ask the acting DG if they could respond on the matter. By press time, she had not given feedback.
The suspension of Hausi and Mlewa came barely days after Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) board had suspended its DG Henry Shamu and other members of the authority’s executive management. Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) board had also at the same time suspended chief executive officer Eunice Napolo and three other senior managers.
Since the appointment of boards of statutory corporations on September 23 2020 by President Lazarus Chakwera, various senior officials have been suspended while some have been dismissed, mainly pertaining to numerous cases bordering on abuse of office.
Chakwera, who is leading the nine-party Tonse Alliance administration, has on numerous occasions emphasised that they would like to clear the rubble within the system to ensure of a transparent and corrupt-free civil service system.