Malawi Law Society advised not to withdraw injunction safeguarding Chizuma


Malawi Law Society (MLS) has been urged not to withdraw the injunction protecting Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma as the Lazarus Chakwera administration has not withdrawn the letter interdicting Chizuma.

Chizuma was suspended over a week ago by Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba over criminal charges she was facing. She is being protected by an injunction MLS obtained but the government wants the injunction vacated.

Yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions Masauko Chamkakala confirmed that he has dropped the criminal charges against Chizuma, which means Zamba’s interdiction order has no legs to stand on.

However, Zamba is yet to withdraw the interdiction of Chizuma and  law professor Danwood Chirwa of the University of Cape Town in South Africa has advised the MLS not to withdraw its injunction.

“As long as Zamba’s letter remains not retracted, the appeal lodged by Thabo Amnesty Pro Bono Nyirenda still stands. In fact the ACB lawyers would be foolish not to show up on Monday at the Supreme Court. Those pro bono folks will surely be marauding the place. They have thrown us a seductive red herring,” said Chirwa in a Facebook post.

He also faulted Chakwera over his statement released through State House in which he has denied ordering the DPP to drop charges against Chizuma. According Chirwa, the DPP reports to Chakwera and it does not make sense for the President to claim that he respects the independence of the DPP and the Attorney General.

“How can you say in the same statement (1.) that the President respects the independence of the DPP and (2.) that the ACB Director is the President’s champion in the fight against corruption? The ACB Director acts for the people, is independent from the President. Please don’t be confused about this.

“While on the topic of issuing directives and denials, please remember that you have authority to instruct Zamba to withdraw the unlawful letter. In fact that’s what you should have done the moment the DPP acted: instead, you chose refutations first and last. Not that we are surprised.”

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