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PM defends ACC investigator demotion

PM defends ACC investigator demotion

Eba Kandovazu

PRIME Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila’s decision to revoke the appointment of top investigator of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Phelem Masule as the Chief of Investigations and Prosecutions, was not a personal one.


This is according to an affidavit filed in the high court by the Prime Minister.


The Prime Minister also argued that Masule’s application is not an urgent matter, while adding that the matter is a labour dispute and as such, should have been dealt with in the labour court.


PM ACC investigator demotion Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila decision appointment investigator Anti-Corruption Commission
NOTHING PERSONAL: Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. Photo: Contributed


Masule was appointed in the position in July, replacing Nelius Becker who joined the police force.


His appointment was, however, short-lived as he received a letter from the Prime Minister informing him of his removal as Chief of Investigations and Prosecutions.


“I deny that any of the applicants constitutional rights have been violated. I deny that he is entitled to the relief he seeks. When I wrote to the applicant I did not know how long it would take to complete my investigation. My decision was not final in the sense that I had finally determined that I would as a matter of fact be approaching the president for him to consider acting under the section 9(a) of the Public Service Act. I deny that my decision up to this point was irrational or unreasonable,” Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.


Her decision, she added, was a result of a letter of complaints pertaining to irregularities in the appointment and recruitment process of Masule.


Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also maintained in her affidavit that she at no point implied that Masule was guilty of any wrongful conduct or that he was dishonest or incompetent.


“I explained to him why I acted as I did. If he chose not to share the reasons with his friends, or his friends reacted unreasonably by reading into my actions what was not there, I trust this affidavit will assist the applicant to set the record straight,” she said.


Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further argued that if Masule is successful in the relief he seeks, the order may undermine the integrity of the Public Service Act and it may suggest that some employees deserve to be treated differently from others in similar positions, such as the employees who have approached the labour court claiming that their employment was unlawfully terminated.


Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also said that she acted honestly and with the assistance of technical and legal advice.


Judge Collins Parker will hear the matter on Friday morning.

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