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ACB says mass staff resignations have nothing to do with the mysterious death of Issa Njauju

Malawi ACB
Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)

According to Times Media reporting, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has since last year been losing members of staff due to resignations.

 

The departments affected by these mass resignations include investigations, prosecutions, corruption prevention and public education.

 

The accounts, audit and human resource departments are also not spared.

According to the same reporting, ACB Deputy Director General, Reyneck Matemba, confirmed the development in an interview on Tuesday.

 

“It is a very big problem. In fact, now, almost every month, somebody is resigning from the Bureau from all the sections. The problem we have now is that in those days the Bureau used to be attractive. The Conditions of Service of the Bureau were more attractive than of most government agencies.

 

“But now it is the opposite. People are now trekking to institutions that are offering better salaries and other opportunities including promotions,” Matemba said.

 

He added: “As of last year, the Bureau had 150 officers, now there are 132. You can see how the figure is going down. The total establishment of the Bureau is about 248. But we know we can’t fill all those vacancies at once. That’s not possible in terms of finances, as well as other considerations.”

 

The issue of staff turnover was also raised on Tuesday when the ACB appeared before a cluster of committees scrutinizing its budget.

 

“In total, the Bureau has lost 15 officers in the financial year in which 13 (nine per cent) of the total staff resigned as at 1st July 2015, while two died,” reads a presentation the Bureau made before the committees.

According to the document, one official is said to have reached retirement age.

The committees included Legal Affairs; Commissions, Statutory and Authorities and Public Appointments.

The ACB is currently implementing a five-year strategic plan which was launched in 2012. In the strategic plan, the Bureau has seven pillars. Some of them are to increase understanding of the nature and procedures of reporting corruption, to increase public confidence in the fight against corruption and to promote integrity, transparency and accountability.

 

Others are to enhance efficiency, and effectiveness of investigations and prosecution of corruption cases.

 

When asked for comment over the situation at the Bureau, Secretary in the Department of Human Resource and Development, Blessings Chilabade, on Thursday said the onus is on the Bureau to replace the staff on existing positions.

 

“The ACB has the authority to employ its own staff. Replacing staff cannot be a challenge. It is straightforward since those positions are already budgeted for,” Chilabade said.

 

He, however, said it becomes an issue when government agencies would like to have new recruits.

 

“That requires asking our office. We have to look at the resources available. On that, we look at critical areas that need human resources,” Chilabade said.

 

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