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DPP’s Bright Msaka warns Malawi President against gagging ACB

Bright Msaka: is obvious that the President wants to gag the two independent institutions

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top official and the party’s spokesperson on legal affairs, Bright Msaka, has faulted the decision of the President Lazarus Chakwera of including the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Human Rights Commission in the Covid-19 task force.

Msaka, a lawyer by profession, has argued that the inclusion of the two bodies will likely affect their independence in executing their duties of fighting corruption, which is currently rampant in the Tonse Alliance government.

“It is most improper for the President to compromise the Anti Corruption Bureau and The Human Rights Commission by including them in the Covid Committee. The President’s reasoning for their inclusion is either faulty or outright suspicious.

“It is obvious that the President wants to gag the two independent institutions. There is no way an oversight body, such as the ACB, should be placed in a situation where, if something should go wrong in the Covid Committee, the ACB would be investigating itself and arrest itself. It does not work like that,” argues Msaka.

Msaka further says that the decision is a clever move by Chakwera to paralyse the two institutions so that corruption scandals in his government should not be known to the public.

“We do not think that the President is being naive. We think the President is cleverly trying to create complete paralysis of the two independent institutions by stifling the kind of oversight intended in the the Constitution and in the law.

“How can a referee be a player in the same game he is officiating? How can a person be expected to chase with the hounds, and at the same time run together with the hare. How can a judge participate in an enterprise over which he later has to adjudicate upon?

“It would seem the President is trying to hoodwink Malawians into believing that he is serious about getting to the bottom of the K6.2bn debacle. The inclusion of the ACB and the Malawi Human Rights Commission in the Covid Committee is a ruse intended to prevent the truth from coming out. Malawians will, however, not be deceived,” ranted Msaka.

Following revelations of mismanagement of Covid-19 funds, President Chakwera on Sunday disclosed that ACB and the human rights body will be included in the Covid-19 committee as one way of preventing corruption.

He has also fired the presidential task force on Covid-19 chairperson, John Phuka who has been replaced by Chalamira Nkhoma.

Chakwera has also sacked the commissioner for Department of Disaster and Management Affairs, James Chiusiwa and has suspended all cluster heads.

Maneno Chimulala
Maneno Chimulala
I am a journalist, educator, and activist with passion for telling stories about social justice, sports and political issues. I graduated from Mzuzu University. I started my career at the Maravi Post online publication in 2012 as an intern while in college. Upon graduating from Mzuzu University I was offered a job as Sports Reporter because of my background as a goalkeeper and rose to the position of sub editor. I also had a short stint with Nyasatimes, Malawi Punch and Malawi Digest. Over the past seven years, I have worked intimately with rural organizations and communities in Malawi on human rights, girl child education and grassroots development projects. With an academic background in education, I also volunteer as male champion for girls’ education under Girls Empowerment Networks (GENET) in Malawi’s South West Education Division (SWED).
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