Legal Affairs Committee wants to free ACB from DPP oversight


The Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament says it will in this Budget Meeting move the House to amend Section 42 subsection 1 of the Corrupt Practices Act in order to remove the requirement for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to request consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) before prosecuting corruption cases.

The committee disclosed this yesterday during a press briefing which took place at parliament building in Lilongwe.

The development follows the interface meetings the Committee held with the Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni on February 2, 2022 and the Anti-Corruption Bureau Director-General, Martha Chizuma, on February 16, 2022.

The committee wanted to understand why the DPP had refused to grant a consent order to the ACB to prosecute an Asian business man, Ashok Nair.

Chairperson of the Committee Peter Dimba said the committee has acknowledged that according to Section 42, subsection 1 of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA), the ACB required the written consent of the DPP before commencing prosecution against Mr Ashok Nair.

The Committee heard from the DPP who stated that he required further information from the ACB before deciding on whether or not to grant consent. The DPP thus stated that he had pended his decision awaiting the requested information from the ACB.

After meeting with the two sides, the committee has resolved that it will move a Private Member’s Motion seeking leave of the House to bring a Private Member’s Bill on the matter concerning the granting of consent to the ACB by the DPP under the CPA.

“The Committee noted that the Section 42 of the CPA is an unnecessary hurdle and interferes with the independence of the ACB in the prosecution of corruption cases,” said Dimba.

He added that the committee also noted the various challenges which the ACB is experiencing including erratic funding of cash flow due to Integrated Financial Management Information System and inadequate security to its officers.

“As such, the Committee will during this Budget Meeting of Parliament, make the necessary submissions for more funding to be given to the ACB,” said Dimba.