By Malawi Exclusive
Anti Corruption Bureau czar, Martha Chizuma, has thrown to the bin the travel order issued by Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) after she sneaked out of the country for Vienna, Austria without obtaining approval.
Chizuma is attending the 13th Session of the United Nations Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Prevention of Corruption also called the “Working Group on Prevention” slated for June 15-17.
The Working Group on Prevention is a subsidiary body of the Conference of the States Parties.
The ACB director and three of her colleagues from the bureau left the country through Kamuzu International Airport last Friday in what is open defiance to government procedure and a recent circular on foreign trips issued from the office of Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) first by the previous office bearer Zangazanga Chikhosi and recently by the new occupant, Ms. Colleen Zamba.
Her entourage from the ACB include Director of Investigations, Daniels Kelly Mponda, Director of Legal and Prosecutions, Chrispin Khunga and Legal Services Manager, Collins Chitsime.
The directive requires all government officials to seek approval from OPC when they need to travel for any duties outside the country. The directive as it stands envelopes every official from the high to low ranks.
This is why Chizuma’s conduct has raised eyebrows on whose interests is she serving and on whose orders she is the travelling to Vienna.
Besides Chizuma and her team, other officials from the Office of Director of Public Prosecution, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Finance were also invited to the same event but they are yet to leave as they are waiting for SPC Zamba to approve their travel as per the prevailing policy.
These include Director of Public Prosecution Dr. Steven Kayuni, Daniel Daka who is Deputy Director of Tax Investigations at Malawi Revenue Authority, newly-appointed director general at Financial Intelligence Authority, Jean Phillipo, and legal counsel Edwin Mtonga.
Others also on the list are Mabvuto Katemula, First Secretary- Legal Affairs Permanent Mission of Malawi to the United Nations, and Dzkondianthu Malunda who is Senior Assistant Chief State Advocate.
To make matters even worse, Chizuma is said to have flown Business Class contrary to President Chakwera’s pronouncement a couple of weeks ago when he ordered that government officials must fly economy class to save costs.
Government is effecting austerity measures to tighten expenditure in view of economic hardships that continue to affect citizens following global uncertainties due to the war in Ukraine.
Since she assumed office, Chizuma has been the lone problem child who operates in disregard of orders from her supervisors and any higher office on the land.