They should be fighting corruption, not this, says Chizuma

Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma has spoken out following her arrest at 4AM this morning when scores of armed police officers surrounded Chizuma’s home, arrested her while she was still in her pyjamas and drove her to Namitete Police Station which is about 48 kilometres from Lilongwe City.

Chizuma has spoken to Zodiak Online from Namitete Police where the law enforcers have charged her with making use of speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings contrary to section 131(1) d of the penal code before granting her bail.

According to Chizuma, she knows what is happening

“And I know why it is happening now. I have a very good idea of the timing,” she said.

She then advised people behind her arrest to focus on fighting corruption.

“They should be fighting corruption. Not this,” she added.

Chizuma’s arrest is connected to an audio in which she discussed with another person issues related to the fight against corruption in Malawi and the case against Zuneth Sattar, a United Kingdom based businessperson who is alleged to have defrauded Malawi of billion of Kwacha.

The audio was leaked in January this year.

In April, a man identified as Frighton Phombo managed to obtain an order from the Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court directing Malawi Police Service and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to launch a probe into the audio on allegations that Chizuma broke the law by allegedly revealing official information to an unauthorized person.

However, police failed to question Chizuma following plans by some people to hold demonstrations.

Chizuma then applied to the High Court for a review of the lower court order and criminal proceedings commenced against her by Phombo and the High Court ruled in favour of Chizuma and threw out Phombo’s case.

The High Court Judge, however, left room for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute Chizuma according to the laws without going through the courts.

“The judge stated that whoever was doing it should not go round, sending people bringing up the charges.

“The judge said if they want, then the DPP [Director of Public Prosecution] should just proceed as is mandated by law. So I think that’s what is happening. So, it is the DPP,” Chizuma’s lawyer Martha Kaukonde has told the local media.

Chizuma’s arrest comes after the ACB arrested Vice President Saulos Chilima on allegations that he received about K290 million from Sattar.

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