The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has demanded Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General, Martha Chizuma, to provide clarification on the status of the warrant of arrest for former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steven Kayuni.
The Bureau in January this year obtained a warrant of arrest for Kayuni and another lawyer from the Ministry of Justice, Dziko Malunda, on allegations of fraud and abuse of office. However, the bureau did not execute the warrants of arrest.
In a letter to the Anti Corruption Bureau Director General Martha Chizuma, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa is questioning how the bureau handled arrest warrants.
He noted that the bureau released a statement disowning a warrant of arrest for secretary for the president and Cabinet (SPC) Colleen Zamba but has not done the same in regards to Kayuni’s arrest warrant.
“After the aforementioned statement, CDEDI and indeed well-meaning Malawians waited patiently upon the ACB to either act or disown the alleged leaked warrant dated January 31, 2023. The ACB’s deafening silence on the matter creates an impression that the document was legitimate,” says Namiwa.
But ACB Senior Public Relations Officer, Egritta Ndala, has defended the bureau saying it follows all the necessary procedures required in criminal investigations and that the bureau does not issue or execute warrant of arrest through social media.
However, Namiwa is still pressing for clarity on the bureau’s approach saying the ACB should tell Malawians whether the said document was withdrawn or not.
“For avoidance of doubt and considering that the ACB is a public institution that ought to be accountable to the people of Malawi, CDEDI writes you Madam seeking clarification on whether the said document was withdrawn or not. If it was withdrawn, please explain why,” queries Namiwa.
The CDEDI Chief has argued that the ACB approach is setting a precedence that will negatively affect the fight against corruption.
He has cited the issue of continuance of ACB’s dragging of its feet on Prince Kapondamgaga who was suspended for being mentioned in high profile corruption scandal involving a British national Zuneth Sattar.
While addressing the nation on June 21, 2022 in reaction to an ACB report, President Lazarus Chakwera told the nation that he had fired the Inspector General of Police George Kainja, suspended Chief of Staff Mr. Prince Kapondamgaga, Chairperson for the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority Mr. John Suzi Banda and also suspended the delegated powers to the country’s Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima for allegedly being implicated in corruption scandal involving a British national Zuneth Sattar.
“Subsequently, the bureau moved in to arrest Dr. Kainja and Dr. Chilima over the same report. However, eight months down the line, tongues are still wagging as to why the ACB seems to be dragging its feet on Mr. Kapondamdaga,” said Namiwa.
He has since requested for prompt response to the pertinent issues raised in the letter saying such actions will put to rest fears millions of Malawians have that there are sacred cows in as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.
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