Chizuma’s arrest: Chakwera suspends Kayuni


Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has reportedly suspended Director of Public Prosecution Steven Kayuni.

Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo disclosed in Parliament that Chakwera has suspended Kayuni with immediate effect.

Justice Minister Lies in Parliament

However, the Justice Minister had earlier on misled Parliament with a series of lies. Mvalo claimed that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Martha Chizuma was released unconditionally following her early morning arrest.

Mvalo also claimed that all purported charges levelled against Chizuma were unconditionally withdrawn.

Soon after making those claims in Parliament, it emerged that Mvalo was lying. Chizuma was released on a police bail. Her charge sheet was still intact. 

AG Nyirenda
DPP Steven Kayuni (L) and AG Nyirenda

The Malawi police has charged Chizuma with making use of speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings contrary to Section113(1d) of the Malawi Penal Code.

The section says when a judicial proceeding is pending, it is an offence to make “use of any speech or writing misrepresenting such proceeding or capable of prejudicing any person in favour of or against any parties to such proceeding, or calculated to lower the authority of any person before whom such proceeding is being had or taken”.

Her charges are in relation to her leaked audio where she accused President Lazarus Chakwera and other government officials of not supporting her fight against corruption.

On the basis of these lies, Malawi24 could therefore not independently authenticate Mvalo’s claims about Kayuni’s alleged suspension.

Fire Kayuni, Malawians demand

A quick observation on social media platforms reveal that people are raising serious questions about Chakwera.

Several people are asking why President Chakwera is reluctant to fire Kayuni.

“Why has Chakwera not fired Kayuni? Why is the president opting for an easier route? Does this suspension not reinforce observations by other commentators that Chakwera is indecisive? Who is in control of Malawi? Why is the president pretending that he wasn’t told of Chizuma’s arrest”, quizzed Chandiwira Mbayani.

“The script that the President did not know [of Chiuzuma’s arrest] has been overplayed. Does he know anything or nothing. So ACB director can be arrested behind government back. Does anyone feel safe. Too many mafias controlling this administration. We are on our own. Total chaos. A country with No direction. No leadership…” wrote journalists and social commentator, Kondwani Bell Munthali in a series of posts on Facebook.

On reports that Chakwera has suspended Kayuni and set up an inquiry, Munthali agreed Wirth Mbayani.

“Director of Public Prosecutions should be Fired. Suspending him is unacceptable as the national embarrassment he has caused. If the President can’t fire the DPP today and dissolve his cabinet we know he is not in control. The President need to act. An inquiry now is too late. The damage is massive. Either he is charge or not. It’s his integrity and legacy as a Government that shield corrupt officials” Munthali wrote on Facebook.

Sattar’s show

Kayuni is alleged to have opened criminal charges against Chizuma over a leaked audio in which she alleged that government was protecting Zuneth Sattar and not committed to fighting corruption. Chizuma felt President Chakwera was not supporting her in the fight against corruption.  

The Leicester based tycoon is alleged to be facing corruption, money laundering and fraud related charges in the UK and Malawi. He was arrested by the British National Crime Agency (NCA). Hew is yet to be charged.

It is alleged Sattar has been in cahoot with several Malawi government officials to loot taxpayers money. Some of those officials have either been arrested or fired by President Chakwera.

Among the top officials arrested for working with Sattar is Malawi Vice President Chilima. The vice president is facing corruption related charges.

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