Disregard social media ranting, President Chakwera is Champion of fighting corruption

By Benjamin Sosola

On 31 January, 2023, Secretary to the Offfice of President and Cabinet interdicted Director General of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to pave way for smooth court cases that she is answering.

This followed communication which her office received that Chizuma is answering case number 236 of 2023.

This interdiction to some has been interpreted as if Government which is led by President Dr Lazarus Chakwera is stiffling on the independence of the ACB which is wrong.

President Chakwera

For the starters, Martha Chizuma is answering two cases and these include;
Making use of speech calculated to lower the authority of a person before whom a judicial proceeding is being had, contrary to Section 113 (d) of the Penal Code and secondly Chizuma is said to have made a speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings, contrary to Section 113 (d) of the Penal Code,” reads the letter in part.

That has nothing to do with President Chakwera.

President Chakwera has demonstrated real support towards ACB. He increased funding towards the ACB within nine months.

Chakwera has supported ACB and even Martha Chizuma once commended Chakwera for this.

“The reason the country seem to be more inundated with corruption incidences now can safely be attributed to a very awake citizenry that is demanding accountability at every turn and corner, most importantly though is an environment that the Tonse-Alliance led Government by His Excellency has created not to cover up such incidences and feed the country with convenient truth but allowing Malawians to face the ugly reality of the problem and providing an environment which allow different law agancies to deal with the problem head on.”

Charges which Chizuma is answering constitute serious misconduct of a public officer and an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) official in terms of section 49B of the Corrupt Practices (Amendment) Act 2004 Ant-Corruption Bureau Standing Order Numbers D/18 (2) and D/18 (9), Sections 4 (4.5); 6 (6.1); 6 (63) and 14 (14.1) of Code of Conduct and Ethical Behaviour of the Ant-Corruption Bureau, Maiawi Pubic Service Regulations (MPSR) 1:201 (6), 1201 (11).1201 (17) and 1:201 (19) and Contract Clause Articles I and 1 of her employment contract of 1 June 2021.

That is why in accordance with the Malawi Public Service Commission Regulation 42 (3) as read with Regulation 40, Chizuma was interdicted from exercising the
powers and functions of her office as Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (Grade 1/C) effective 31 January 2023, with full pay.”

To demonstrate the full support, ACB had 12 lawyers and the current administration has so far hired 17 new lawyers, taking the number of ACB lawyers to 29.

On top of that Government has so far hired four private lawyers who work with the bureau and 19 more investigators.