Commission of Inquiry Report Targets Chizuma and Infuriates the Public

By Staff Reporter

The office of the President and Cabinet has released findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on the arrest of the director general (DG) of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Martha Chizuma.

The President directed yesterday that the Commission of Inquiry releases the report to the Public. However the release of the report in a reduced format (only from chapter 8) from OPC, and circulated through social media instead of a proper Press Conference raises further difficult questions.

There is a general public outcry that the Commissioner’s report mainly serves to recommend removal of the ACB Director. Also the report exonerates those who were directly criminally or politically involved in authorizing Chizuma’s mafia style arrest.

The public had essentially wanted to know whether in top Government there was anyone else (apart from or including the DPP, AG, Inspector General, Cabinet Ministers, Party officials and President) who exactly knew prior to the arrest. The report is silent and only slightly places blame on police team leadership style that puts no responsibility on anyone.

The report has unearthed the following:

—The police acted on a complaint from Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Steve Kayuni regarding a leaked audio involving an ACB official and another person, however they made no independent investigations, and made own assumptions as to who Kayuni was complaining against.

—Chizuma committed an offense by discussing sensitive matters with a third party.

—DPP Kayuni abused office by pursuing a personal matter that affected the office of the DPP.

—Police used excessive force in arresting Chizuma. They arrested her around 3am, did not tell her where they were taking her and never involved female detectives.

—Chizuma was not manhandled and that some of the statements made in Parliament regarding the conduct of police were exaggerated.

—The Presidential directive to release the ACB DG unconditionally was not adhered to as police went on to caution her before releasing her on bail. There is therefore no evidence that the case was indeed withdrawn.

—There are serious mistrust issues among different offices mandated to fight corruption in the country.

The commission’s recommendations:

—The commission has recommended to the President to take urgent action to restore the dignity, trust and integrity of offices of the ACB DG, the Attorney General (AG) and the DPP.

—Regarding Chizuma and the leaked audio, the commission of inquiry has recommended that appropriate action be taken to deal with her conduct.

— The commission recommends that appropriate action be taken to deal with the conduct of Kayuni in the matter as it was found that he lacked sound judgment by abusing office powers to advance a person issue.

Political and legal analysts have raised questions on whether Chakwera’s administration is serious enough to win the fight against corruption or intends to continue moving in circles.