Chakwera criticised over Chizuma’s arrest inquiry

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Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has been told off by Malawians for setting up a commission of inquiry on what led to the arrest of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) czar, Martha Chizuma.

Yesterday, Chakwera presided over the swearing-in ceremony of members of a Commission of Inquiry that has been instituted to establish the truth on what led to the arrest of the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Ms. Martha Chizuma, on 6th December 2022.

“The findings, resolutions and recommendations from this course of action will help us arrive at informed, fair and undistorted determination on an issue of national interest,” Chakwera wrote on his Facebook Page.

However, Malawians have questioned the purpose of the commission on an issue that appears to be straightforward.

According to Malawians, it is already known that Chizuma was arrested by Police following a complaint from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steven Kayuni hence the president only needed to summon the head of police and Kayuni to provide information on the arrest of Chizuma.

“You don’t know what you are doing Mr President. Are u telling the Malawians too , that you don’t know who is the boss of Malawi Police Services ?? Yet you’re the one who Choose the IG of MPS. Mr President don’t insult our minds am telling you Mr President you’re Joking you’re not serious,” one person wrote.

A commenter identified as Franco Frank said: “Waste of time and resources. You know it already how it was done, now here you are pretending as if you don’t know anything regarding to the arrest of Martha Chizuma.”

Speaking at a press conference recently, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) executive director Sylvester Namiwa described the inquiry as a waste of a waste of time, energy and taxpayers’ money.

Said Namiwa: “The President should have remembered that he is still sitting on the Public Sector Reforms Report, as well as the findings of the inquest on the killings of people with albinism. Now, in all good reasoning, why should Malawians trust him this time around that he will let them know the results of the inquiry into Chizuma’s arrest?”

On Monday, scores of armed police surrounded Chizuma’s house in Lilongwe City at 4AM, arrested her while she was still in her pyjamas and in front of her children, and then drove her to Namitete Police which is 48 kilometres from Lilongwe City.

According to Police, her crime is that she made allegations against Kayuni in her phone conversation with a third party. The conversation was recorded and leaked on social media in January this year. Chizuma was charged with making use of speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings which is under section 113(1)(d) of the penal code.

Chizuma’s arrest drew the anger of many Malawians on social media as well as human rights activists and Malawi’s development partners.

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