4 February, 2023

Chizuma, her arrest continues to raise questions

Chizuma released

Kayuni suspended

The Malawi Police Service has disclosed that their arrest on ACB Director Martha Chizuma emanated from a complaint lodged by the Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP), Steve Kayuni.

Kayuni alleges that he was he was injured by allegations made by the ACB Director General in a leaked audio clip in January, this year.

Police arrested Chizuma in the wee hours of today at a her home in Lilongwe.

About five hours after her arrest she was released as confirmed by National Police Spokesperson Peter Kalaya  in a statement a few hours after her arrest.

“Malawi Police Service (MPS) wishes to inform the public that it has formally charged and released on bail the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General, Ms. Martha Chizuma, who it arrested in the morning of Tuesday, December 6, 2022”.

In a twist of events Justice minister Titus Mvalo has announced in parliament that charges against Chizuma have been droppe.

as if that was not enough, Mvalo further announced the suspension of Kayuni.

The two senior public officers have been at loggerheads for some time now, in a feud which started some months back when the DPP denied his ACB counterpart consent for prosecution in a case involving Ashok Nair an associate to businessman Zunneth Sattar who is also under the ACB radar.

There have been various efforts towards bringing sanity between the two and the Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda.

In April President Chakwera ordered Mvalo to bring the two and the AG to a mediation roundtable.

Other governance stakeholders such as the Public Affairs Committee also expressed interest in brokering a sound working relationship between the two.

Kayuni-has been suspended

In regard to the leaked phone conversation, the court threw out an application by a Mzuzu based concerned citizen Frighton Phompho for prosecution of Chizuma for breaking her oath by divulging information on an ongoing investigation.

In a statement the police have however referred to a ruling by High Court Judge Anabel Mtalimanja in September, 2022 on the leaked convo that allowed those aggrieved by contents of the leaked audio clip to proceed with criminal action against the ACB Director General.

Reacting to the developments, government Spokesperson Gospel Kazako has commended the release of Chizuma,  but faults the police for being stingy with information .

“As Government, under the leadership of His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, we are concerned by the lack of information from the Malawi Police Service regarding the reasons why and the manner in which this arrest was effected, and we call on the police to inform the nation on these matters within the course of the day,” Kazako says.

Commenting on the matter in Parliament, Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa demaded that President Chakwera should appear before parliament to explain events around the arrest of ACB Director.

He questioned the explanation that was earlier given in the house by the government whip that as the authorities they were not aware of the arrest.

President Chakwera has since instituted a commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of the matter.

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