By Audrey Kapalamula:
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has moved to seek legal advice on the government’s failure to respond positively to their demand to fire civil servants who are actively participating in partisan politics.
The coalition led by Timothy Mtambo, who is also Executive Director for Centre for Human Rights for Rehabilitation, last week asked the government to fire governing Democratic Progressive Party members Attorney General Charles Mhango, Chimwemwe Chipungu, Clement Mwale and Hebrews Misomali of Safe Motherhood Initiative and Mary Kainja, the Public Events Manager.
Mtambo Sunday expressed displeasure with the government’s silence on the matter.
“We are serious about the ultimatum because these are matters of principle; right now we are in discussions with our legal counsel to make sure that we seek court interventions on this issue. We want the court to interpret whether what has been happening is in line with the law,” he said.
The coalition lamented selective justice that was applied to Callista Mutharika, George Saonda and Chiza Mbekeani for allegedly being involved in politics as they are members of the United Transformation Movement.
Callista Mutharika was sacked as presidential adviser on safe motherhood whereas Saonda and Mbekeani were, until the sacking, working as director of administration in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and deputy director of administration in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, respectively.
Mtambo said the civil service may turn into a political entity if not checked.
“We must bring in discipline and professionalism. If we continue at the rate we are going, we will discover that the whole civil service becomes a political entity. This compromises their ethics and professionalism.”
In June 2018, Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara, issued a circular advising all civil servants to resign from their positions if they seek any political office.
But the government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi has given the coalition the freedom to act according to their will.
“They have been taking us to court. Let them go; otherwise, let us wait and see,” he said Sunday.
The coalition, according to Mtambo, also wrote the government four months ago on the same but no action has been taken.