Civil society Organizations (CSO) working under the banner National Anti-Corruption Alliance have expressed concern with continued attacks on law enforcement officials and institutions such as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which are fighting organized corruption which the activists say is now deep-rooted in the country.
The concern was raised following recent events in the country which are threatening people’s rights, democratic governance and the government’s obligation in upholding the constitution and international law in the fight against corruption.
Speaking during press briefing yesterday, the CSOs called upon the Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General, Martha Chizuma, to release a full list of those implicated in corruption and state capture.
Taking turns, the CSOs called for an immediate investigation of what they termed as a political scheme scandalizing the judicial system at the Mzuzu Magistrates Court which will likely bring judicial delinquency.
National Anti-Corruption Alliance chairperson, Moses Mkandawire said the planned questioning of Chizuma by police using the legal route was only aimed to suppress people.
“Martha Chizuma appeared before the head of state and she was forgiven and that is water under the bridge, why police call her now? Continuation of intimidation of law enforcement institutions since the commencement of high profile corruption cases,” Mkandawire said.
He then reiterated that lives of those working in such cases are at risk hence calling for their protection while at the same time asking for vigilance from the nation to stand with the ACB and other law enforcement institutions using whatever possible democratic means to stop the harassments.
On his part, Youth and Society Executive Director, Charles Kajoloweka commended the leadership of the United Democratic Front (UDF) for suspending its member, Frighton Mphompho who made an application at the Mzuzu Court on Chizuma’s leaked audio.
“We commend the UDF leadership for suspending one of its officials who brought the political scheme to the Mzuzu Court on Chizuma’s leaked audio, unfortunately the one who leaked that audio is not investigated up to now, what was his motive by the way?” wondered Kajoloweka.
He then took his time to warn the citizenry about some entities which he said masquerade as CSOs but were bankrolled by the state to undermine the credibility of the Civil Society Organizations and some state institutions to run propaganda to the deterrent the credible ones.
Other CSO leaders also expressed fears that with the current level of corruption in the country, Malawi vision 2063 cannot be achieved considering the state at which serious and organized corruption has reached.
Meanwhile, earlier on Friday morning, under pressure Malawi Police Service announced the suspension of their planned interrogation of the ACB boss, Martha Chizuma.
Police gathered information that some CSOs were planning to and converge at National Police Headquarters where they were planning to conduct vigils throughout the period Chizuma would be interrogated.
Meanwhile, the High Court in Lilongwe on Friday afternoon stopped investigations which Malawi Police Service was conducting on Martha Chizuma, Director General of ACB in connection with the leaked audio.
The court has also ordered for a review of a ruling by Mzuzu senior resident magistrate Godfrey Nyirenda who ordered Malawi Police Service and the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate Chizuma over the leaked audio.