President Lazarus Chakwera has issued a stern warning to the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Martha Chizuma, over remarks she made in a recorded conversation which the president has described as painful and embarrassing.
Chizuma in the audio which she has confirmed is authentic, confirmed that the bureau has not been getting adequate support from Chakwera, that she was informed that she had lost support from State House and that she was warned that there is a perception that she wants to bring Chakwera’s government down. She also alleged that some judges and lawyers are corrupt and she discussed a case which the bureau is handling.
Chakwera in his speech said the audio has exposed both Chizuma and the president to embarrassment.
Chakwera added that he has always demonstrated resolve to win the fight against corruption by not interfering with ACB investigations, by subjecting himself to questioning by ACB officers and by fighting with many forces to ensure that the Bureau is fully funded and its Chief is well-protected.
“I must therefore confess that because of how vested I am in the fight against corruption, listening to some of the remarks Ms. Chizuma makes on that recording was painful,” said Chakwera.
He also revealed that he has been advised by legal minds that Chizuma’s improper conduct in the audio recording contains information justifying her removal as Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau on the grounds of misconduct in terms of Section 6B (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act, 2019.
He, however, said he will not fire Chizuma whom he described as a strong partner in fulfilling the promise of ending corruption.
“I have determined that the best thing to do in this instance is to keep a watchful eye on her general conduct of the Bureau’s affairs in order to ensure that there are no other incidents of concern about her fitness for office going forward. As such, I have given her a stern warning about what the law demands and what I expect from her as the person I appointed to that office,” said Chakwera.
The president described the people who recorded and leaked the audio as evil forces but he stated that Chizuma and himself are not moved by their efforts to derail his agenda to rid Malawi of corruption.
He said: “If you thought that making this recording would force me to fire her, you better think again. And if you thought that you can use Ms. Chizuma’s work or improper comments on that audio to attack me and get me out of the way, you better think again.”