CHIRWA, WHO ALLEGEDLY PASSED ESCOM CEO INTERVIEWS, BUT REJECTED SPEAKS OUT!
1. Mulotwa Mulotwa: What nationality are you?
RC: I come from Nkope Village in Mangochi. My Group Village Headman is Chiwalo. I consider myself Yao. I went to Nkope Primary School in Mangochi and got selected to Chaminade Secondary School. Originally my father was from Nkhata- Bay but in 1968 trekked to Mangochi to augment his career as a fisherman. My siblings and I have been ‘Mangochians’ ever since. That is how my father left T/ A Mbwana in Nkhata- Bay – his original home and was buried in Mangochi. I speak Yao, Chewa, Tonga, Tumbuka, Zulu, Portuguese & English.
2. Mulotwa Mulotwa: During interviews was the issue of nationality raised & let me hasten to say you have not answered question 1 satisfactorily because your CV shows you are South African?
RC: No one asked me that question despite my CV indicating I am also of South African nationality. If they did, I was going to tell them that my father was Malawian and mother South African. Father brought us to Malawi in 1968, when I was 2 years old having divorced my mother. I have a Malawian passport that I can renew if required as I left Malawi in 1998 to search for greener pastures and obviously, I had to reconnect with my mother’s roots to get an ID & job. Should the Escom CEO job be offered to me I am willing to surrender my South African citizenship if at all the dual nationality law is not operationalised yet in Malawi. Malawi is my country and I want to solve the puzzle of power shortages and I told panel how I was going to go about it – they all looked excited with my plans. It came as no surprise when I read from your page that I made it. That said, remember I first got short-listed before being called for interviews and my CV doesn’t hide the fact that I have South African citizenship as well
3. Mulotwa Mulotwa: We’ve been told this morning your demand for a $300,000 [ K270 million] salary per annum drove the panel and Government nuts?
RC: I told panel that question was unfair but I had to answer it. I am currently worth $500,000 [K450 million] per annum and reduced to $300,000 because Malawi is my country and even then, I am willing and ready to fit into the Escom salary structure. By the way I was interviewed for two positions, the other one being Chief Operations Officer [ COO] for Escom. So I am ready to get a pay cut for Malawi, you see.
4. Mulotwa Mulotwa: We have learnt Group Village Headman Chiwalo from Nkope in Mangochi is mad with insinuations that you won’t be given the job because you are South African. Are you aware?
RC: I confirm GVH Chiwalo called me yesterday to express his displeasure with the insinuations and said he is ready to go to Capital Hill to demonstrate to anyone that he himself knows me and my late father, including my father’s burial site. I am the son of the soil and is vouching for me in that regard. I am in touch with my people. He sounded very proud of me given intentions to come back home and resolve power issues. I have been in this business for the last 31 years and now I want to use my experience to play a role in solving the energy downsides in my country, Malawi.
5. Mulotwa Mulotwa: There are suggestions you are close to Escom Board Chairperson Chokani Mhango & that when he is in South Africa he spends days at your house?
RC: I have never met or know Mr. Chokani Mhango. The person I saw on the panel and knew was Overton Mandalasi because I worked under him when building Wovwe Power Station while we both worked for Escom. I did not even know he was going to be on the panel. If I was going to be asked, it is a declaration & disclosure I was going to make.
Mulotwa Mulotwa: Thank You.