Chizuma was arrested after ACB launched investigations into Kayuni over allowances

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The Commission of Inquiry into the arrest of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma says two weeks before the arrest of Chizuma, ACB launched investigations into K5.5 million unaccounted for travel allowances which Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steven Kayuni allegedly claimed in 2021 for a failed trip to Austria.

The findings of the commission of inquiry were presented to President Lazarus Chakwera yesterday.

Kayuni was one of the persons mentioned in the audio and he  lodged a complaint to police saying the allegations Chizuma made are tantamount to criminal libel.

Chizuma was arrested on December 6 when scores of Police officers surrounded her house at around 4AM before taking her to Namitete Police Station which is 48 kilometers outside of Lilongwe.

The arrest followed a complaint from Kayuni that Chizuma made allegations against him in a conversation with a friend. The audio clip of the conversation was shared on social media in January, 2022 and Kayuni argued that the contents are tantamount to criminal libel.

However, it has emerged through the commission of inquiry that the arrest of Chizuma came two weeks after the ACB instituted investigations into travel allowances amounting to K5.5 million which Kayuni received for an official trip to Austria.

The trip was not undertaken and Kayuni told the commission that on 30th June, 2021, he offered to repay the allowances he had received.

Despite making the offer in 2021, Kayuni only repaid the money on 1st December, 2022, a year and six months later, and five days before the arrest of Chizuma.

“The commission received evidence that the DPP repaid the sum of K3, 543, 750 on 1st December, 2022.

“The commission finding is that the matter is under investigation by the ACB,” reads part of the report.

Kayuni’s complaint to the police was based on a High Court ruling in a criminal review case which advised the DPP to undertake criminal proceedings against Chizuma over the audio clip if the state noted that there was sufficient cause for the same.

However, Kayuni complained to the police in his personal capacity, something which has been faulted by the commission of inquiry.

“The commission finds that while Dr Steven Kayuni as the DPP represented the state in the criminal review case before Justice Mtalimanja, he was conflicted when he decided to lodge a complaint in his personal capacity to the exclusion of others whose rights may have been injured by the leaked audio,” reads part of the report.

The commission has since recommended that action should be taken against Kayuni over his conduct.

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