Legal experts urge Malawi President to fire Chizuma

Sep 5, 2022

Two senior legal practioners have appealed to the appointing authorities to fire the current Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) boss Martha Chizumu on grounds of incompetence.

According to the seasoned Lawyers who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing conflict of interest said any civil servant who has failed to perform has no time to waste in Government.

“To be honest, Martha Chizuma was good working as Ombudsman and the country was happy with her performance. The reason is simple , a good ACB boss should be the one with litigation experience which Chizuma lacks,” he said.

Another senior lawyer collaborated this saying its true Chizuma should indeed be redeployed somewhere and not close to ACB.

“The President has done his part, he has done everything possible to support her including accommodating her at the Presidential Villas that has never happened with any ACB Director General,” said the lawyer.

He added: “Martha Chizuma’s scorecard at the ACB cannot only be judged on the number of arrests the bureau makes. What matters thereafter is how she proceeds with the court cases.”

The lawyer observed that since she was appointed in April 2021, it has become clear that the ACB has stopped prosecuting cases successfully as compared to previous reigns of Reneck Matemba and others before him.

Sentiments from inside the bureau are that Chizuma has failed on a job she badly wanted when she left the Office of the Ombudsman.

“At this stage, her yardstick of success may not necessarily be a conviction or an acquittal. Chizuma has even failed to reach plea stages in most of the cases underway. That means she hasn’t even reached a point where the court finds the accused with a case to answer. This should tell you that the ACB director is failing on the job,” said the source.

However, Malawians are surprised of Chizuma’s failure to perform taking into account the level of support she is receiving from the current administration. She is probably the best funded director to date.

In June this year, President Dr Lazarus Chakwera took a swipe at the graft busting body director for what the President called a substandard report on Sattar which named some high profile individuals as part of the corrupt activities done by the businessman but did not provide details.

The President bemoaned that the report did not contain enough details about Chief of Staff of State Residences and chairperson of PPDA John Suzi-Banda.

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