Malawi Parliament has adopted a motion allowing the tabling of a bill which will amend the Corrupt Practices Act to remove the requirement for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to first seek consent from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) before prosecuting cases.
Member of Parliament for Likoma Island Ashems Songwe moved the motion in Parliament this morning and it was adopted by the MPs.
“That considering the various challenges encountered by the Anti-Corruption Bureau in the prosecution of cases, this House resolves that a private member’s bill be drafted to amend the Corrupt Practices Act in order to strengthen and enhance the independence of the ACB in the prosecution of cases,” Songwe said in his motion.
The legislator proposed that Section 10 (1) (f) and Section 42 of the Corrupt Practices Act be deleted.
Section 42 makes it a requirement for ACB to obtain consent from the DPP before instituting prosecution of cases while Section 10 (1) (f) says the ACB may prosecute any of the cases under the act but such prosecution is under the direction of the DPP.
Songwe argued that the DPP under Section 99 of the Constitution may take over and continue or discontinue any criminal proceedings instituted by any person or authority hence even after deletion of section under Corrupt Practices Act, the DPP would still have powers to get involved in the prosecution of cases by ACB.
“Section 10 (1) (f) and Section 42 of the Corrupt Practices Act are an unnecessary impediment to the independence of the ACB in the prosecution of cases,” said Songwe.
The efforts by MPs to amend the act comes months after the DPP in January refused to give the ACB consent to prosecute businessman Zuneth Sattar’s agent Kumar Sreedharan, also known as Ashok Nair, and four other people.
DPP Steven Kayuni argued at the time that consent could not be given because the ACB had submitted an incomplete report.
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