MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has reiterated that it will continue to keep the names of the suspected people who attempted to bribe the five judges who are yet to determine the presidential election case in Lilongwe; until it is fully done with its investigation.
Speaking yesterday in an interview after the expiry of a three day ultimatum that Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) issued to ACB to reveal the names, the boss of the institution, Reyneck Matemba, has said his organisation has a legal framework within which they operate; and so they cannot be stretched outside that.
Matemba further said malawians should patiently stay put as the Bureau is doing all it can to reveal the names of the individuals who were bound to bribe the judges.
“It will come a point where the people of Malawi will be able to know the people who wanted to bribe the judges but we will only be able to do that once we gather enough evidence.
“I will not disclose at what stage we are, but at that point in time after we are convinced that we have a very good case. And normally we don’t hide this. We issue press releases and effect warrant of arrest. So, it’s not that we just want to hide the names, but there are legal reasons. Fortunately, we operate within a legal framework laid to us by parliament,” said Matemba.
While adding more weight to Matemba’s train of thoughts, another legal heavyweight, Justin Dzonzi, said ACB is justified not to disclose the names of the people who attempted to bend the justice.
Dzonzi said: “Imagine the situation that would raise if the ACB released the names of the individuals then after investigation some of them to be innocent. They would have their character assassinated and obviously that might lead to legal consequences.
Generally, people who are dealing with legal matters; if the court comes across information that is otherwise not directly relevant to the case before them.
But if it reached the public opinion, it would make the public to influence the court, the court excludes that information to avoid prejudice.”
On Tuesday last week, Matemba held a press briefing in Lilongwe where he did not disclose the names of the individuals who wanted to bribe the judges, but only said that ACB has put in place a task-force to investigate the matter to its root cause.
In its demonstrations on Thursday, Humans Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) gave the ACB a seventy two day ultimatum to reveal the names, else, it will force Matemba to resign.