Martha Chizuma’s days at the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) are numbered. This far it’s a question of when, more than how or if, as calls for her immediate dismissal are growing each passing day.
Chizuma shot to prominence as that tough woman during his days as the Ombudswoman, earning herself a title “Iron Lady” such that when the position of the Director General at the graft bursting body fell vaccant everyone except the Public Appointment Committe of Parliament (PAC) was convinced she was the perfect fit for the position.
Apparently, when the DPP -led PAC said Chizuma had failed the interview, no one believed them. Everyone saw the move as political and PAC had to succumb to the pressure and the “people’s DG” was confirmed.
Almost a year and a half after PAC was pressurised to confirm her, Chizuma’ position has become unattainable. The once fan favourite is being haunted for failing to live up to expectations. She has become unwanted and her approval ratings so far have plummeted to an all-time low since she became the Bureau chief.
But as they say, time has a way to vindicate people, it appears PAC was right after all. Chizuma was a super misfit.
According to the opinion poll sample collected through Capita FM’s Sunday Round Table discussion program, almost 90 percent of contributors through phone calls exppresed worries of Chizuma’s continued stay at ACB.
One Dan Mafuleka calling from Lirangwe wondered why Chizuma is still the ACB boss depspite glaring evidence that she is the worst director general of ACB.
He said: “Martha Chizuma has been given enough resources to to execute her responsibilities but she has failed miserably. Honestly, Idid not expect she will still be at ABC given her poor performance in the last one year.”
Another caller identified as Ephraim Zuze from Thyolo said after the President tore into her report as substandard, he thought Chizuma had seen her best days yet at ACB but she is still there.bZuze said he has always doubted Chizuma’s abilities to lead in the fight against corruption
“For as long as Chizuma is at ACB the fight against corruption is a futile mission. ACB needs someone strong and who cannot be easily swayed, manipulated and intimidated,” said Zuze.
Talking about intimidation.It seems that the “once feared woman Chizuma we all knew at Ombudsman is not the same we are seeing at ACB. Maybe it was the case of distance deceiving us, she is not as tought as we thought. Up-close and because of the scrutiny the ACB job invites she has proved to be a toothless bill dog.
When President Chakwera relieved his Vice Saulos Chilima of his delegated duties Chizuma was quoted as saying that the ACB will commence investigations starting with questioning the Vice President right away. The date was set and it was the day the Tonse Alliance partners had a meeting at State House two months ago.
But it was never to be. The ACB retreated when some UTM zealots, supporters and bouncers threatened to deal with anyone from ACB who was to go to Chilima to interrogate him on his alleged involvement in the Sattar case. It seems the case has plunged into oblivion and has stalled for eternity.
Not long ago Chizuma was at loggerheards with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Steve Kayuni. She accused Kayuni of being reluctant to grant her consent to go ahead with some cases.
Parliament intervened and the said Corrupt Practice Act was amended and President Chakwera assented to the bill giving Chizuma total freedom to navigate as far as her constitutional powers allows but so far not even a single case has been brought before court.
Chizuma may be qualified but it seems she was better suited for Oumbudsman because the position is not as demanding as it is at ACB. Chizuma was a big fish in a small pond at the Oumbudsman.
Chizuma needs to be replaced if the fight against corruption is to amount to anything. She can be deployed somwhere where her qualification will be of use, otherwise she is a disaster at ACB.