BY SITILITHA MPEMBENJI
Information reaching Shire Times indicates that three officers at the National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) have been suspended on suspicion that they leaked information which exposed the bloated security for deputy chief executive officer, Hellen Buluma.
This comes after Weekend Nation exposed how Nocma is spending millions paying for extra security for Buluma which is outside her entitlement.
According to Nation Online, the suspended officials include a security officer, Peter Chilenje, Financial Accountant Manager, Mavuto Ndalahoma, and an Office Assistant, Paul Lapozo.
The Nation online reports that the suspension is based on “gross misconduct relating to unauthorised disclosure of confidential office documents to unauthorised parties”.
Buluma is also allegedly to have been threatening and intimidating journalists from the Nation over the same story.
Over the weekend, the Nation Newspaper revealed that National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) has bloated police security for its deputy chief executive officer (CEO) Helen Buluma, draining K3.9 million monthly to pay for five police officers and their three guns.
Police confirmed that Nocma—a State-owned company set up with taxpayers’ money—requested to hire their services that include four police officers with two guns to guard Buluma’s residence and a gun-totting close protection officer (CPO) to babysit her daily.
A CPO or personal bodyguard is reserved for senior officials such as judges, ministers and their deputies, Malawi Electoral Commission commissioners, Speaker of the National Assembly and Leader of Opposition, according to police sources.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera, in an interview with the local paper, said: “Nocma requested for the services of our officers just like how any person can come to our offices and request to hire officers for a wedding event or anything like that.”
According to a copy of Conditions of Service for Nocma employees, 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.