LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil right group, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) wants the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to refresh probing Malawi State House’s MK12.5 million Crossroads Hotel saga.
The grouping says it will soon write the Director General of Martha Chizuma to propose a fresh probe into the matter.
The proposal comes barely a month after ACB released results of the saga where the State House was cleared of any wrongdoing on allegations that it dubiously settled bills that were incurred by some private guests that came to Malawi at the invitation of the State House.
CDEDI challenged the investigation’s outcome, and said it is ready to provide the ACB with a latest quotation from Crossroads Hotel.
Eventually CDEDI called a meeting with ACB boss Chizuma and other bureau officials.
In a press statement signed by the grouping Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa disclosed that during the meeting, the bureau told the rights group that it can only do a fresh probe into the matter if there is fresh evidence will be provided.
“Madam Chizuma has challenged CDEDI that the ACB is ready and willing to institute a fresh probe into the Crossroads Hotel saga, so long as such a complaint is backed with tangible evidence, pointing to the fact that the other funds apart from the MK12.5 million paid by the State House, came from public coffers.
“CDEDI will formally write the ACB to request for a fresh probe into the State House Crossroads Hotel saga,” said Namiwa in the statement.
Namiwa in the statement further claimed that the ACB Director, Chizuma has conceded that there were indeed some discrepancies in the statement but said the investigations on the Crossroads Hotel saga were done prior to her joining the Bureau on 1st June 2021.
The Executive Director further questioned ACB for giving to the public false information that the rest of the bill was paid by Miguel Elias as stated in the previous ACB statement when the new information indicates that the bills were settled by the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
“During the meeting, CDEDI was interested to find out the MCP’s involvement in State House matters, but the ACB Director has failed to provide the answers,” adds the statement.
CDEDI says that Chizuma also revealed that she gets calls from President Lazarus Chakwera encouraging her to work independently. However, she said Democratic Progressive Party accuses her of being pro government while Tonse Alliance members blame her for being nice to the opposition.
Meanwhile, the ACB Director has confirmed receipt of a letter from the Attorney General, (AG), to probe the Ministry of Health Officials that were implicated in the Ambulances procurement saga, and that the Bureau is currently doing something about this issue.
The bureau is reportedly under pressure from both opposition and Tonse government official on personal interests.