Catholic Bishops in Malawi have appealed to President Lazarus Chakwera to ensure the security of Anti-Corruption (ACB) staff, especially the Director General Martha Chizuma.
The bishops under Episcopal Conference of Malawi have released a statement today. The statement has been signed by Most Reverend Thomas Msusa – President and Archbishop of Blantyre, Right Reverend Martin Mtumbuka – Vice-President and Bishop of Karonga, Most Reverend George Tambala – Archbishop of Lilongwe, Right Reverend Peter Musikuwa – Bishop of Chikwawa, Right Reverend Montfort Stima – Bishop of Mangochi, Right Reverend John Ryan – Bishop of Mzuzu and Right Reverend Peter Chifukwa – Bishop of Dedza.
In the statement, the bishops have applauded the efforts of the ACB and I Chizuma for their bravery, professionalism and determination m fighting corruption, especially as they have been doing over the past 6 months.
They have, however, called on the government to ensure that Chizuma and ACB staff are protected by the state.
“No one should be pressurized, intimidated or influenced by threats or any other means in the carrying out of their work for the good of the country. We plead, in the interest of building a more just and transparent Malawi that benefits all its citizens, that any of the investigations or cases which the ACB is dealing with are not in any way obstructed or influenced. Let no suspect, however powerful, wealthy or who their connections are, be shielded or protected provided that he or she is given proper recourse to the legal processes of the courts,” reads part of the statement.
They Bishops have further appealed to the donor community to ensure that the ACB has sufficient resources especially considering the unprecedented fight against corruption the Bureau has put up over the last 6 months.
On the Judiciary, the Bishops in the statement have noted that it has a key role to play in the fight against corruption.
We appeal to the Judiciary to ensure that cases regarding corruption are expedited and that everyone is seen to be treated fairly and similarly before the law. This builds public confidence that the Judiciary too is playing its role in a constructive way in the fight against corruption. Avoid making suspicious judgments and pronouncements which are seen neither to be promoting justice nor fighting against corruption. Loss of public trust in law enforcement agents of the State to combat corruption fuels mob-justice and is a recipe for civil disorder.