By Thandie Chadzandiyani
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) deputy chief executive officer Helen Buluma has been given seven days to respond to allegations that the institution is draining K3.9 million monthly on her security detail by the Office of the Ombudsman.
The action by the Ombudsman follows a complaint from Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) that Buluma and her residence are guarded by armed police officers and private bodyguards outside her entitlement.
In a letter Reference OMB-LL-2021-357, dated November 22, 2021 titled ‘Investigations Into Allegations of Abuse of Office and Acts of Maladministration by Nocma deputy CEO, Ombudsman Grace Malera instructs Buluma to respond to the allegations by December 2 2021.
The copy of Nocma employees’ Conditions of Service, the State oil firm’s CEO and the deputy are entitled to a day security guard and two night security guards plus an alarm or rapid response system.
Reads the Ombudsman’s letter, in part: “ In particular, you are to respond to the issues relating to allegations in relation to abuse of office by yourself as deputy chief executive officer in getting security detail not in line with your entitlements, provide information and supporting documents relating to your entitlement where the issue of security for your person and your residence is concerned,
“lf, indeed, you are getting security details as per the allegations in the complaint, explain the authority under which the same benefit is being accorded to you and, if, indeed, you ore getting security details as per the allegations, provide information as to how such services are being paid for—whether the services are being charged to Nocma and why?”
However Buluma could not be reached on her mobile phone and she also did not respond to any question.