LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Civil Society organizations under the banner Citizen Advancement for Economic Revolution (CARE) says planned demonstration against Ashok Nair and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Steven Kayuni are criminal in nature and tantamount to anarchy in the country.
The grouping told the news conference on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 in the capital Lilongwe that the demos must not be entertained as intends to go into people homes which is trespassing against the law of the land.
CARE Team leader Redson Munlo observes that Malawi is governed by laws hence citizens must bide by statues saying Ashok did not commit any crime to seek legal address against Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma’s defamation in a leaked audio.
Munlo added that DPP Kayuni has an office where concerns must be addressed to not his house.
The development comes as Lilongwe District Council has cancelled permission for the demonstrations organized by a grouping called Citizens against Impunity and Corruption.
The demonstration was targeting Ashok Nair who sued Chizuma, over defamation.
According to a statement by Dr. Lawford Palani, Lilongwe District Commissioner, the permission has been cancelled because the matter is still in court.
Among others, the organizers want corruption suspect Ashok Nair to withdraw his court case against ACB boss Martha Chizuma.
Nair sued Chizuma for defamation following a leaked phone conversation in which Chizuma made a number of serious allegations, including that a High Court judge granted Nair– bail in exchange for a bribe.
Below is CARE’s full statement:
CALL FOR ADHERENCE TO RULE OF LAW IN DEALING WITH CORRUPTION MATTERS
We have been keenly following different cases going on in various courts in the country and we are undoubtedly convinced that Malawi is such country which respects the rule of the law and that there is diversity in how different legal minds have used the statutes of the country derived from the supreme law of the land which is the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.
By a way of reminding each other Chapter IV (4) of the Constitution of Malawi provides for a bill of rights.
Section of 15 of the Constitution guarantees Protection of human rights and freedoms, “The human rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature and judiciary and all organs of the Government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Malawi and shall be enforceable in the manner prescribed in this Chapter.”
We are aware that currently the ACB is dealing with a lot of corruption cases including the famous matter of Zunneth Sattar and his associate Ashok Nair which led to the arrest of former Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa and Ashok Nair.
The former minister was released after a court battle so too Ashok was unconditionally released after a due process of the law.
Most of the issues being dealt are failing to conclude. Later on, we heard of leaked recorded audio in which there was a conversation between the Director General of ACB Martha Chizuma and another person.
Madam Chizuma in the audio confided with the other person making serious bribery allegations on the magistrate who presided over the case of Msukwa and Ashok.
Following this allegation in the audio Ashok felt injured and that his personal character has be dented and decided to sue Madam Chizuma in her personal capacity as provided in Section 15 (2) which says , “Any person or group of persons with sufficient interest in the protection and enforcement of rights under this Chapter shall be entitled to the assistance of the courts, the Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission and other organs of Government to ensure the promotion, protection and redress of grievance in respect of those rights.”
We have noted that some individuals in the country have been propagating on actions that do not respect the right to seeking court assistance by Ashok for the “injury” he feels as a result of the leaked audio.
The leader of our group was invited to be part of the team that has been planning for the infamous “Ashok Must fall” demonstrations.
However, our continued assessment tells us that this is a misplaced action and we have decided not to continue to be part of it for the following reasons:
1. We note the aim for the demonstration in criminal in nature because it intends to go into people homes which is trespassing, and tantamount to anarchy.
2. Ashok as citizen in Malawi has the rights provided by the constitution and it is the court that can only suspend some on those rights. The rights he enjoys including that to seek for legal redress in whatever matter within the boundaries of Malawi and we cannot be party to suppression of someone’s rights.
3. The case between Ashok and Madam Chizuma is in her personal capacity and in no any way is affecting or choking the operations of ACB however let us warn should Ashok dare to suffocate the operations of ACB then we will appropriately deal with that.
4. We believe that Madam Chizuma as an individual in not immune to law suits and that such law suits should be properly dismissed by the competent court not pubic court.
5. The action being propagated may lead to violence and destruction of properties of Malawians of Asian origin and the Asian business community in general. We feel the current energies on the “ant Ashok demonstration” will be more meaningful if they are directed to duty bearer to take appropriate actions on this matter than an individual who has no influence on any policies.
1. We would like to denounce any efforts and any actions that may trigger violence, promote hate speech and impede on coexistence.
2. We denounce any actions from public undermining the due process of the law and suffocation of individual’s rights to access the justice system.
3. We denounce undue public influence on the legal process to like it to the taste “election case”.
4. We call upon on all well-meaning Malawians to adhere to rule of law on all matter including corruption matters as they are being dealt with my competent government agencies and courts.
5. We call on ACB to ensure that all its employs adhere to oath secrecy they undertook otherwise face the implication of breaking the same.
6. We call on well-meaning Malawians to desists from being called to actions that unsuspectingly befits the organisers than the public.
1. We are in sport of ACB to effectively function but working within the laws of Malawi.
2. We would like to ask the various governance state institution the supervises the ACB the impact of the leaked recorded audio the oath of secrecy Madam Chizuma undertook in when assuming her office.
3. We Would like also to remind the head of state to walk the talk on capacitating the ACB financially
4. We call on all concerned Malawians to put more energies to deal with rotten government system not symptom individuals which are symptomatic of a rotten system.
Signed by Redson Munlo – Team Leader
Endorsed by: Fredrick Malata Luther Mambala Helix Mainar, Brighton Sagawa Phillip Mughogh