LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-President Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 announced stopped delegating duties to Vice President Saulos Chilima by using substandard report Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma submitted to him.
Chakwera made a contradiction statement saying despite Chilima being mentioned in the report, there is no any evidence that his deputy indeed received bribes from businessperson.
Chakwera said the officers include those from Office of the President and Cabinet, Malawi Police Service, Office of the Vice President, State House, Reserve Bank of Malawi, ACB, Malawi Broadcasting Station and various ministries.
The president however, said apart from Chilima, there is no other member of his cabinet who has been mentioned on the list.
“Four of the 13 hold offices over which I have some constitutional powers, namely the Vice President, the Inspector General of Malawi Police (George Kainja), the Chief of Staff for State Residences [Prince Kapondamgaga] and Chairperson of Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority [John Suzi Banda],” said Chakwera.
He, however said the bureau did not provide any information on what Chilima, Kapondamgaga or Suzi did though it explained that Kainja was recorded discussing kickbacks with Sattar.
The president described Chizuma’s report as substandard that lack concrete evidence that can be proved in the court of law.
“The report states that the Bureau has concluded that he is among the 13 who conducted themselves corruptly in dealing with Mr. Sattar, and despite my appeal for the Bureau to produce a report of its findings about.
I find this decision by the Bureau irregular for four reasons. Firstly, because it dishonours the principle
of separating the powers of the Executive Branch, to which the Bureau reports, from the powers of the
Judiciary and the Legislature, which exist for different functions. Secondly, I find it irregular because I know of no law that authorizes the Bureau to submit reports to the heads of the Legislature or
of the Judiciary for private use,” Chakwera rebukes Chizuma.
He added, “Thirdly, I find it irregular because the Bureau already stated in the report that it cannot release the list of individuals implicated by the report to the public to avoid prejudicing people who may otherwise be innocent, and yet the same Bureau has already gone ahead to release the report to two other public offices that are not bound by law to keep it confidential.
“Fourthly, since the Bureau has said that it fears that reading the report may lead to prejudice, it should
have avoided potentially prejudicing the Chief Justice most of all, considering that the cases under
investigation will be tried before the Courts and may very well end up before the Chief Justice and the
Supreme Court for independent appeals”.
Concludes Chakwera without action on Chizuma’s irregular report, “An investigation of this scope, of this seriousness, and of this sensitivity requires skillful hands and a cool head, to avoid rookie procedural and strategic mistakes that risk giving the corrupt cartels in our land a footing to obstruct and oppose every move we make to defeat them.
“The stakes are way too high for that. What Malawians deserve from the Bureau is substance that
makes a difference in pursuit of justice, not just suspicion that makes the headlines. And towards that
end, you can count on me to continue doing my part until this long battle is won”.