Parliament has called the bluff of the Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rahman Swaray as he acted untoward in relieving the Director General of National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM) Maxwell Massaqoui.
Last Tuesday Members of Parliament reinstated the Director General of National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Maxwell Masdaquoi after he was put on unlawful suspension by the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray.
Committee on Information and Communications stated that the Minister of Information and Communications acted beyond his duty and that he (Communication Minister) does not have the mandate to suspend the Director-General of NATCOM.
The Information and Communications Committee explained that the Director-General of NATCOM has a unique function, adding that he is answerable to the President and not the Minister of Information.
That the Minister of Communication Mohamed Rahman Swaray acted unlawfully pursuant to section 10 of the Telecommunication Act as amended which states, in the performance of its functions under this Act, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority
That the actions of the Minister of Information and Communications is an affront to state authorities and have therefore overturned the unlawful suspension of the Director General of NATCOM and at the same time advised the Minister of Information and Communications and other state officials to stop interfering with the official duties of independent government agencies.
“The Minister of Information and Communications does not have the mandate to suspend the Director-General of NATCOM,” said MPs, adding that it is for the President and Members of Parliament to decide and not the duty of a Minister that was appointed by the President.
The committee ordered the reinstatement of the DG of NATCOM Director Genera; with immediate effect because the Minister of Information and Communications did not follow the due process but whether the Minister will yield to a Parliamentary order remains another story.