It is interesting to note that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was established during Dr. Elson Bakili Muluzi’s regime and currently he is still answering charges of embezzling government funds into his personal account to the tune of MK1.8 billion.
More interesting is that Muluzi’s case has taken over a decade depleting Government resources including money, time and logistics in excess of the amount of money Muluzi is suspected of misappropriating.
And it gets more interesting. Against this background, there were calls from the general public that Muluzi’s case should be written off as it seems that the government has no tangible evidence.
First, the Director of ACB, Ms. Martha Chizuma, made a resolution that Muluzi’s case must continue to be prosecuted till justice is seen to be done.
I gladly concurred with this stand. Second, the Chief Justice, Rezine Mzikamanda, later corroborated with ACB’s resolve by issuing a directive that all long outstanding cases should be concluded within 90 days. I patted him on the back.
However, as you are reading this sentence, there is currently no date set for Muluzi’s trial over months now since Chizuma and Mzikamanda committed themselves to expedite the trial of long outstanding cases. Are the institutions, ACB and the Judiciary serious in stamping out corruption?
Muluzi’s case is just a tip of an iceberg. There are many more outstanding cases. For example, it has taken over four years now for the attempted murder convict, Ralph Kasambara, who is now on bail, to be tried in our court of law. For sure, justice delayed is justice denied.
People are utterly bamboozled when will Paul Mphwiyo’s case come to a conclusion? Other cases that are gathering dust in our courts involve Newton Kambala, Kenzie Msukwa, Brown Mpinganjira, Enock Chihana, Dalitso Kabambe, Joseph Mwanaamveka, Nicholas Dausi, George Kainja Norman Chisale just to mention a few.
One wonders why ACB is quick to arrest corruption suspects while they don’t have tangible evidence. This is a recipe for unfair and selective justice.
Usually, it is the tax payer’s money that is used to compensate suspects who were wrongly apprehended.
We are not surprised that corruption cases are stalling because even ACB admitted that there are some members of ACB and the Judiciary who are suspected of indulging themeselves in corruption. It is the case of salt losing its taste or the case of light becoming the source of darkness. This is a pathetic situation.
Recently, President Chakwera assented to the bill that ACB can proceed to prosecute corruption cases without seeking consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr. Steve Kayuni, who is well known to shield corruption suspects.
What is mind boggling is that we haven’t seen Martha Chizuma expediting the trial of cases now that she has powers to prosecute such cases without the consent of the DPP.
When ACB and judiciary become corrupt, it is the people who suffer from the adverse effects of such a vice. It is the citizen who becomes the biggest loser as taxpayers money continues to be plundered as no body’s business.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor