Public not satisfied with inquiry report into Chizuma’s arrest – Capital Radio Malawi
22 June, 2024

Public not satisfied with inquiry report into Chizuma’s arrest

Unimpressed critics are demanding a fresh inquiry into the arrest of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Martha Chizuma.

The calls mostly from various social media users, follows the authorities’ release of a full report of the Commission of Inquiry into Chizuma’s arrest, in what has been seen as  succumbing to public pressure.

Hours after receiving the report from the Commission on Tuesday, OPC released a partial version that only covered the findings and recommendations as per President Chakwera’s instruction.

The move left various sections of society disgruntled particularly considering that the limited content suggested a glaring departure by the commission from its set Terms of Reference – TORs.

While President Chakwera instituted the commission to establish the truth about the circumstances around the arrest, the inquiry’s findings and recommendations are centring on an issue outside the set scope.

In the report, the commission says it found reasonable grounds to suspect that Chizuma committed offences and demonstrated lack of judgement in a leaked phone chat with one Anderson Maweru last January.

But contrary to the many observers’ expectations the retired Justice Edward Twea-led commission, has since recommended that appropriate action be taken to deal with Chizuma’s conduct in so far as the leaked audio is concerned.

The Malawi Law Society’s (MLS) is one of the stakeholders that pushed the authourities to release the full report.

In a statement Honorary Secretary Chrispin Ngunde also raised a red flag over the variance in the findings and what the commission was initially set out to inquire- circumstances leading the Chizuma’s arrest.

The authority given to the Commission by the President in a public appointment document circulated on 6th December 2022 specifically required the Commission to zero in on the arrest and not to inquire into the conduct of the arrested. However, pages 50-60 seem to suggest that the Commissioners had different Terms of Reference,” Ngude stated in the statement.

However having had the full report, the legal eagles have disclosed that want to take their time to thoroughly study the same.

He adds that they will formally react to the contents of the full report thereafter.

Information Minister Gospel Kazako, has since justified the phased release of the report, arguing Chakwera had not yet appraised himself of the other contents since they were not part of the version that the commission presented to him on Tuesday.

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