BY JORDAN SIMEON-PHIRI
Minister of Transport and Public Works Jacob Hara has appointed Ralph Mhone as a sole Commissioner of Inquiries to probe the competency of the Roads Authority (RA) Board and report back within 14 days.
According to the statement dated December 31 signed by the Minister’s public relations officer Kelvin Sato, the appointment is in accordance with Section 16 (1) of the RA Act.
Reads the statement: “The Minister of Transport and Public Works Jacob Hara MP has today December 31, 2021 in accordance with section 16 (1) of the Roads Authority Act has appointed Ralph Mhone SC as a Board of Commissioner of Inquiry to look at the competency of the RA Board and report back within in 14days”.
In an interview, Sato confirmed the development, saying the RA Act empowers the Minister to appoint between five and 10 people as Commissioners of an Inquiry but it has pleased Hara to appoint the sole Commissioner to do the job.
“Yes, it is true that the Minister has appointed Mhone to do the job. You might wish to know that in the recent past weeks the media has reported so many negative issues about the RA Board of Directors hence the institution of the Commission of inquiry to thoroughly investigate the Board’s competency,” he said.
However, in an interview, a Mzuzu based political and social commentator George Phiri saidbunless the Commissioner of Inquiry established was composed of mechanical and civil engineers, the results of the investigations will not be credible enough.
He said: “The nature of the work of RA is too technical which is greatly managed by engineers and if these two types of serious and well versed engineers are not included, the instituted Commison might no be able to get the root cause of the competency in question.
“And again, history has it that government machinery is good at establishing Commissioners of Inquiry but fail to act on the results and implement findings of the same and Tonse Alliance government is yet to put a political will on results of reports from Commission of Inquiries”.