UK equally concerned
The US Government has declared it has lost trust in Malawi’s fight against corruption, following the Attorney General’s decision to challenge an order staying the interdiction of Anti-Corruption Bureau chief, Martha Chizuma.
On Tuesday, Malawi’s top attorney engaged private practice lawyers Kalekeni Kaphale, George Kadzipatike and Chancy Gondwe as part of the State’s defence team in the matter.
On Monday, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) got a court order stopping all processes commenced by the Secretary to the President and Cabinet in regard to Chizuma.
According to US Ambassador to Malawi David Young, they look to the government of Malawi to actively pursue the fight against corruption and not to wage a campaign of intimidation against anti-corruption champions.
“We have actively engaged senior government officials to seek renewed commitment to the fight against corruption, but those efforts have not yielded results,” reads part of the statement.
The embassy further expressed concern that none of those responsible for the arrest of Chizuma or who authorized it have been held to account.
It went on to say that the Commission of inquiry was established to get to the bottom of circumstances leading to the arrest of Chizuma, but produced an unbalanced.
The US is however of the view that the report also failed to address the violations of Chizuma’s fundamental human rights.
Joining the US, the British government has also expressed concern with the development.
British High Commissioner to Malawi Sophia Willitts-King has tweeted that the UK is equally concerns with Chizuma’s interdiction.
“We share concerns raise by the Malawi Law Society (MLS), and other civic groups in relation to the pursuit of criminal charges against the Director General of the ACB and her recent suspension.
The UK has strongly endorsed the Malawi President’s anti-corruption drive and his consistent calls to respect the rule of law. However, the law, police and judicial system should not be used to frustrate the will of the people of Malawi”.
Reacting to the US’ stance, government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu insists that Malawi’s credibility in the fight against graft will be determined by an institution’s reputation rather than an individual’s character.
“The hiring of the ACB director had the presidents support, the ACB director found herself in some problems with that audio the president stood with her, when they complained of a lack of resources, the government provided’’, Kunkuyu stressed.
Meanwhile other commentators have expressed fear that the country is likely to pay dearly for government’s recent decisions.