Chakwera maintains Chizuma, fires Kayuni

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Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has maintained Martha Chizuma as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general but has fired Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steven Kayuni for using his position to settle a personal injury.

Chakwera has addressed Malawians this morning following the release of a Commission of Inquiry Report into the arrest of Chizuma over her leaked audio.

Chizuma was arrested on December 6 after a complaint from Kayuni who said that he was injured due to the comments Chizuma made in the audio.

The commission in its report faulted Kayuni for filing a personal complaint on matters involving his office as DPP while still holding that office. The commission described this as an act of unsound judgement.

Chakwera said he summoned Kayuni to express his disappointment over the act of unsound judgment because he considers it as a breach of public trust and a great failure on the part of Kayuni.

“To prevent  him from using public office to settle a personal injury, I have removed Dr Kayuni from his position as DPP,” said Chakwera.

The president has since replaced Kayuni with Legal Aid Bureau Director Masauko Chamkakala.

On Chizuma, Chakwera noted that he already decided not to fire Chizuma last year after the emergence of the leaked audio.

Following the inquiry report which recommended action against Chizuma, Chakwera has said he stands by his decision not to fire Chizuma and his choice of her as a champion against corruption.

However, Chakwera added that this does not mean that people are not allowed to file a complaint against Chizuma. He further said that Chizuma is also free to file a complaint against the person who recorded her against her wishes.

“What I will not allow is anyone using the power of their position in a public institution to assault another just to settle personal scores,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera then claimed that the leaked audio continues to affect the credibility of the ACB and to undermine interagency cooperation.

He said has since directed Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba to bring together heads of the agencies in the fight against corruption to agree on a framework to improve their collaboration.

Chakwera further said that  he expects heads of the agencies to comply with the framework and has warned that he will remove without apology anyone who refused to collaborate.

According to Chakwera, the agencies are operationally independent but none is constitutional autonomous.

“No agency is allowed to become anyone’s personal colony or empire with no accountability to anyone,” said Chakwera.

In his speech, Chakwera also noted that the commission found no evidence that any member of Chakwera’s cabinet ordered the arrest of Chizuma or knew about the arrest before Chizuma was arrested.

Chakwera said that if anyone has evidence that any member of his cabinet or anyone appointed by Chakwera knew about the arrest or ordered the arrest, they should send the evidence Chakwera’s office.

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