Central Medical Stores boss on Ombudsman's radar

feston kaupa

The Office of the Ombudsman, has written the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) Feston Kaupa, notifying him of its intention to investigate allegations of unlawful recruitment and dismissal of some staff at the institution.

A letter signed by Ombudsman Martha Chizuma, accused Kaupa of "irregular and nepotistic recruitment and on the other hand"victimisation and unfair dismissal" of some personnel.

On nepotistic recruitment, the letter accuses Kaupa of hiring Rex Kuyeli as Director of recruitment. Kuyeli is an alleged relation of former Secretary for Health Dr Dan Namarika. It further alleges that Namarika influenced Kuyeli's hiring.  

The post was advertised in the press, but none of those who took part in the interviews was picked.

Other personnel whose recruitment are also being investigated are: David Kulemeka( Branch Manager) and Joe Khalani Director of Pharmaceutical Operations.

The two were also handpicked without interviews according to the allegations.

Khalani's position was successfully awarded to a Mr Ngwira. The Central Medical stores board even approved the hiring of Mr Ngwira, only for Kaupa to handpick Khalani.

On victimisation, the complaint alleges that Mr Maxwell Chimkokomo, was fired as a procurement officer because of his purpoted affiliation to the Malawi Congress Party.

However Chimkokomo was fired because he opted to go for a self sponsored PHD, without management approval.
A relation to the former first lady, Getrude Mutharika, Mr Sam Zuze, was offered the post of procurement Manager from the Accounts section.

The institution also provided full scholarship to Mr Zuze, for a Masters degree at Malawi institute of Management (MIM).

Chizuma has ordered Kaupa to provide relevant documents supporting the hiring of Kuyeli and Khalani by 13th November 2020.

Kaupa said CMST had received the letter from the Ombudsman and that they would comply.

Recently the Ombudsman has been investigating similar conducts to the Tobacco Commission, and Malawi Ernegy Regulatory Authority( MERA).