Commission of Inquiry report withholding the truth on Chizuma arrest


Chakwera receiving the report from Twea

The Ethics, Peace, and Justice Commission (EPJC), the social arm of the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), says findings of the Commission of Inquiry on the arrest of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma seem to suggest serious withholding of information and the truth.

EPJC chairperson Zacc Kawalala released a statement yesterday following the release of the inquiry report on the arrest of Chizuma. The commission of inquiry was led by retired justice Edward Twea.

Kawalala noted that apart from stating that critical members of the Executive knew about the arrest on the morning of December 6, the report does not clearly establish who knew what and when and who ordered the arrest of Chizuma.

According to Kawalala, the  findings of the inquiry seem to suggest serious sanitization or withholding of information and the truth.

“It states how the complaint was made, and how the arrest was made. It is not specific as to who authorized the arrest. It leaves the public to speculate and make its own conclusions based on the meetings that took place.

“It is a matter of great concern that such a high-profile event would go without detailing the approval process and let alone, the executive not being notified.

“This flies in the face of what the President instructed the Commission to do…establish the truth,” reads part of the statement.

Kawalala further argued that the glaring inadequacies of the report bring into question whether the commission was highjacked by rogue elements in the administration to pervert the course of justice.

He added that the report also points to some form of deeply entrenched state capture which demands further investigation.

“Instead of the report helping to enhance faith in what the administration is doing in the fight against corruption, it has rather left many questions unanswered,” reads the statement.

EPJC through Kawalala has since urged Chakwera to ignore the commission of inquiry’s recommendation that the president should take action against Chizuma.

According to Kawalala, even though the commission found reasonable grounds to suspect that Chizuma committed offences in her leaked audio, Chakwera already already pardoned Chizuma and nothing new has come out of the Commission of Inquiry which would make him change his earlier pronouncement.

Chizuma was arrested on December 6 when 19 police officers carrying guns invaded her house at around 4AM and drover her 48 kilometres to Namitete Police Station.

Her crime was that, in a leaked audio in January last year, she made allegations of corruption against Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steven Kayuni. The DPP complained to police claiming that the allegations amounted to criminal libel.

The inquiry report indicates that several planning meetings involving senior police officer including the deputy inspector general ahead of Chizuma’s arrest. However, according to the report, members of the executive including President Lazarus Chakwera and Homeland Security Minister were not informed about the arrest.

The report further indicates that Kayuni filed his complaint to the police days after the ACB started investigating him over K5.5 million allowances which he allegedly received for a trip to Austria in June 2021 despite not going on the trip. Kayuni refunded K3.5 million on 1 December, 2022 after the ACB had already started its investigations.

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