Malawi Law Society obtains injunction against Chizuma’s arrest and suspension


Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma can return to work as the Malawi Law Society (MLS) has obtained an injunction against her suspension and arrest.

Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba last week interdicted Chizuma because she is facing criminal charges over her leaked audio.

However, the MLS went to the High Court where it applied for permission to apply for judicial review of Zamba’s decision to interdict Chizuma and the decision of Prosecutor Levision Mangani to issue summons and charge sheet against Chizuma on account of complaints premised on the leaked audio without any allegation of bad faith either in the summons, charge sheet or interdiction order.

The High Court has today granted the order staying the interdiction as well as the summon and charge sheet against Chizuma pending judicial review or further order of the court.

The court has also granted MLS an injunction restraining Zamba, Mangani or their agents from implementing or taking further steps in execution of their decisions.

“The permission to apply for judicial review having been granted, an order is hereby made for the expedited hearing of the motion for judicial review,” reads part of the court order.

 Chizuma was arrested in December last year following a complaint from the former Director of Public Prosecutions Steven  Kayuni that the ACB director, in the leaked audio, described him as compromised and corrupt.

Following a commission of inquiry into the arrest, President Lazarus Chakwera fired Kayuni on January 18. On Chizuma, the president said he stood by his earlier decision to maintain her as ACB director despite the leaked audio.

A week after Kayuni was fired, state prosecutor Mangani informed Chizuma that she had to appear before court to answer two criminal charges related to the leaked audio. The charges based on remarks Chizuma allegedly made against Kayuni and High Court Judge Simeon Mdeza. However, Mdeza denied filing a complaint with the police.

Chizuma was expected to take plea on January 27 but the case was shifted to February 8.

On 31 January, Zamba interdicted Chizuma because of the allegations she is facing and said the suspension will remain in effect until conclusion of the court case.  

However, law experts have argued that Zamba has no authority to suspend the ACB chief as such powers only rests with the president.

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