LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-High placed sources with law enforcing agency has confided in this publication that embattled Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma is expected to be arrested on leaked audio saga.
Chizuma who is currently abroad on private trip will be arrested upon arrival in the capital Lilongwe.
She left Malawi on Sunday, April 10, 2022 to meet and convince “her financiers about her allegiance on corruption fight in the country”, according to sources at ACB.
This following Office of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Steven Kayuni endorsing Chizuma’s arrest after studying a court order to decide the possibility of commencing criminal charges on a leaked audio that contravenes ACB office’ oath.
“ACB boss Chizuma will be arrested upon arrival from a private trip over the leaked audio that injured many including contravening ACB office oath.
“As we speak, DPP just endorsed the arrest after examining court order on criminal charges on her,” says the source within Malawi Police Service.
Ministry of Justice spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 confirmed the DPP was served with an order that Mzuzu senior resident magistrate Godfrey Nyirenda granted last month ordering the Malawi Police Service and the DPP to investigate the leaked audio.
“I can confirm that we have been served with the court order and we are evaluating it,” he said.
Ruling on an application by Mzuzu resident Frighton Phombo, Nyirenda further ordered Police and DPP to ascertain if criminal charges can be brought against Chizuma.
Sources privy to the matter said the DPP was expected to write the Office of the Attorney General to seek direction because the office of the DPP does not have investigative powers.
“It’s a legal process and what is happening is that the DPP does not have investigative powers, so they have to engage either the police to do that. But the DPP is writing the Attorney General seeking direction on the matter,” added the source.
Phombo moved the court to open a case against Chizuma on allegations that she violated the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) by revealing to a third party information on investigation for corruption.
He contended that Chizuma committed an offence of directly revealing official information to un-authorised person, contrary to regulation 4(a) of the CPA, and that of making use of speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings, contrary to Section 113 (1) (d) of the Penal Code.
But Nyirenda said even though a leeway is given for private citizens to institute criminal proceedings, the overall and ultimate authority over such proceedings remains with the DPP.
On January 24, 2022 President Lazarus Chakwera reprimanded Chizuma for the leaked conversation, indicating that he had summoned her for a meeting where she confirmed speaking about ongoing investigation in the leaked audio that had gone viral.
He described her action as unfortunate but said he would not dismiss her. Instead, he issued a stern warning that he will keep an eye on her conduct.
Chizuma is also facing defamation charges lodged by Ashok Kumar Sreedharan, who sued her for alleging in the audio that money changed hands to have him released after an arrest.
In the audio, Chizuma put in the spotlight churches, judges, lawyers and the Presidency as not helping matters corruption fight.
This comes a few days after political-activist Bon Kalindo gave five-days President Lazarus Chakwera to fire Chizuma over the same leaked audio that breached ACB’s Office oath.