Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has indirectly backed President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s refusal to fire the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General, Martha Chizuma, over a leaked phone conversation.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa has since penned Chairperson of the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Joyce Chitsulo, cautioning her committee against acting on calls by some misguided Malawians who are calling for the removal of Chizuma from her position.
The caution comes three days after some so-called Concerned Citizens held demonstrations in Lilongwe over the weekend where they demanded the removal of Chizuma from the graft busting body for breaking her Oath of Secrecy.
However, revelations are emerging that senior officials from the erstwhile governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sponsored the protests to frustrate Chizuma’s stand against corruption.
Apparently, majority of DPP officials have cases bordering on corruption and bribery hanging over their heads.
Despite calls from the DPP-sponsored demonstrators to have Chizuma fired, President Chakwera reiterated his confidence and in the ACB czar effectively ruling out possibilities of dismissal over the said matter.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, while not directly commenting on Chakwera’s decision to defend Chizuma, says Chizuma’s very firm stance in the fight against corruption has proven to be a threat to corrupt individuals who are now employing every trick in the book to frustrate her resolve to eliminate the vice.
In his letter to PAC Chairperson Joyce Chitsulo and copied to a number of public institutions, Namiwa wonders why there is deafening silence from the United Democratic Front (UDF) President Atupele Muluzi, and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LoP) Kondwani Nankhumwa and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), among others, as people push for the removal of Chizuma from her position.
“Apart from rallying their support behind the ACB Director, the UDF has moved a step further to suspend the party’s District Governor for Chikwawa, Mr. Mpompho, who is suspected to have travelled all the way to Mzuzu to commence criminal investigations against Martha Chizuma. All the well- meaning Malawians had expected to see these major political parties rallying behind the ACB Director, in order to show their solidarity that they mean well for this country, but Ney!
“As you are reading this letter Madam Chairperson, the side that is trying so hard to make sure that evil should triumph over good, is very loud to an extent that they have petitioned your office to see to it that the ACB Director is removed from office, while conveniently forgetting that a criminal offense was committed when madam Chizuma’s telephone conversation was recorded and leaked, and that there is a High Court order regarding this very same issue,” reads part of the letter.
Namiwa adds that any attempts to discredit, frustrate, or halt the ongoing investigations at the ACB will be treated as a war against Malawians, and such actions are likely going to attract the wrath of the Malawian voters who also double as taxpayers.
“And we have all the reasons to suspect that all these attempts to remove the ACB Director from office, are aimed at foiling these investigations, particularly those concerning the high-profile individuals. It is against this background that CDEDI is challenging PAC to seize the opportunity that has availed itself by the recent petition that was received by Hon. Arthur Chipungu on behalf of the committee, to unveil this hitherto unknown person that recorded and leaked the conversation. Apart from letting him face the long arm of the law, Malawians have the right to know his motive and intentions for the act. It is therefore only fair and prudent that the entire committee membership should take a deep reflection and soul searching before taking any course of action,” says Namiwa.
He claims that “all eyes are now on PAC as to whether the committee will join in crucifying Martha Chizuma, whose only crime is her detest for corruption, or side with Malawians whose lives are getting worse every day because of some selfish and corrupt individuals.”
“The future of this nation will be determined by PAC’s cause of action, which will show whether the country has either won or lost the battle against corruption. Either way, Malawi shall go down in the annals of history as a country that at one point in time was captured by a single individual, right from the Head of State, down to parliament via state agencies to the civil society; or as a nation that stood firm in the fight against corruption. Last but not the least, the outcome of the ongoing investigations on corruption scandals a the ACB, shall haunt us all as a nation for generations to come. Therefore, those in copy of this letter, are strongly challenged to act within their jurisdictions and mandate to liberate millions of Malawians that are walloping in dehumanizing poverty as a result of the same endemic corruption,” thus Namiwa concludes his letter.