By Burnett Munthali
It is quite shocking to hear some of the things happening in Malawi and how they happen. You tend to wonder whether law enforcement officers have been to schools of law or not. You also tend to wonder whether ACB officers feel ashamed of the decisions they make or not.
Are we really fighting corruption in this country? I don’t think the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is fighting against corruption but they are here to promote and benefit from the same corrupt practices and spare some sacred cows. In this case, ordinary Malawians won’t even have the energy to report corruption cases because it is a waste of time and energy for nothing.
We cannot say this is the rule of law taking place, it’s far away from it. Malawi Anti Corruption Bureau under overrated Martha Chizuma is part of the corruption in this country and the silence of ACB is evidence. The ACB Director General Martha Chizuma has gone mute.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (ACB) disclosure that it has dropped corruption investigations involving State House Chief of Staff Prince Kapondamgaga is disappointing and we must stop wasting time that we are going to root out corruption this way through such law interpretations.
I mean, how does ACB drop investigations involving State House Chief of Staff Prince Kapondamgaga just like that? I am tempted to think that this is one good example of selective justice.
Prince Kapondamgaga has been spared deliberately because he is connected to the government and President Chakwera in particular. If that isn’t the case, he should be taken to court to answer charges of corruption and be acquitted there if he is guilty.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau annoyingly says it has no issues against Kapondamgaga because he has surrendered a Mercedes Benz which he received from a businessperson but that sounds funny and doesn’t make any legal sense at all. The fact still remains that Prince Kapondamgaga received a bribe but he did not report the matter within 48 hours after this happened to any Police station or Anti Corruption Bureau Officer after the offense was committed. The dropping of corruption investigations in this case is illegal.
The surrendered Mercedes Benz that Kapondamgaga received is actually evidence that should be used to prosecute the former State House Chief of Staff.
The review of the evidence against, Kapondamgaga in this case, he has voluntarily entered with the Bureau, prosecutorial discretion has been exercised not to lay criminal charges against him is an element of self-defeat against fighting corruption.
On the other hand, ACB’s choice to drop investigations is like taking up the role of the courts. In other words, they have passed a verdict. It sounds more like acquitting someone before he could already be before the court of law.
The Bureau’s completion and closure of investigations against him is unfortunate. The ACB’s powers under Section 10 (4) of the Corrupt Practices Act are senseless and do not make any sense because some people are serving jail terms for committing similar offenses yet they were not spared.
Giving a statement voluntarily to the Bureau should not be used as a loophole to set criminals free.
In conclusion, I think although the ACB has made such a decision Kapondamgaga, who is on suspension, should not be allowed to return to work.
The reason is that there’s evidence that he actually received a bribe he voluntarily returned the bribe to the ACB. That’s the evidence and what else do we need?
If President Reverend Lazarus Chakwera can lift his suspension, take him back, or give him other work to do then it means the president is corrupt too. He will prove to the nation once again that he is not fighting corruption but protecting his relatives and friends.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor.