A grouping under the banner Independent Civil Society has come out in support of President Lazarus Chakwera’s reinstatement of Prince Kapondamgaga who was suspended as Chief of Staff at State Residences for allegedly being involved in corrupt practices.
The matter started June last year when Kapondamgaga was suspended on his position over his alleged involvement in corrupt dealings with UK based Malawian businessman Zuneth Sattar.
In July this year, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) reported that Kapondamgaga will not be prosecuted any more because he agreed a deal with the bureau to become a state witness and give back all money and material benefits he obtained from the UK based businessman.
Following the recommendation from ACB that the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) should immediately review the Malawi Public Service Regulations in accordance with the president’s directive, Chakwera in July this year reinstated Kapondamgaga.
In its reaction through a press briefing which was held on Monday 18th September, 2023, in Blantyre, the grouping which among others comprised of political activist Unandi Banda and political analysts Caleb Ng’ombo and Caesar Kondowe, praised president Chakwera for his decision.
Kondowe said taking into consideration of Kapondamgaga’s voluntarily statement and the restitution agreement he signed with the Bureau, it would have been malicious and unfair if Chakwera would have maintained his suspension.
“We are commending because following the process that ACB did, Mr Prince Kapondamgaga is a free person he can be given any position and the president can appoint him in any position that has happened. So, we feel like this is normal and fair process and it can happen to anyone,” said Kondowe.
He continued by commending ACB for acting professionally and further described the verdict as an independent based decision, fair and within the law that established it as an independent institution.
The grouping further added that any contrary decision on the matter would have been a gross misconception, misleading, misguided and a persuasion of personal vendetta.
“We also believe that the ACB acted fairly following Mr. Kapondamgaga’s voluntarily statement to the Bureau and the restitution agreement he signed with the Bureau.
“We further believe that ACB was fair as an independent body therefore the decision made is also independent as provided for in the Corrupt Practices Act. Additionally, since it is no longer in the armpit of Director Of Public Prosecution (DPP),” said the grouping through Kondowe.
He also indicated that their coming out to voice out their position on the matter does not mean they have been sent by any individual, claiming they are following footsteps of other CSOs who publicly reacted to the reinstatement of Kapondamgaga.