By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
President Lazarus Chakwera has for the first time since ascending to power as State President dissolved his cabinet, as Anti-Corruption Bureau Director (Martha Chizuma) has survived dismissal following her leaked audio with a certain person which went viral two days ago on social media, and media houses in the country.
In a Presidential National Address delivered from Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday evening, January 24,2022, President Chakwera told the nation that in exercise of powers vested in him by the Constitution, he has dissolved the entire cabinet with immediate effect, and that a reconfigured cabinet will be announced in the next two days.
“That reconfigured cabinet will exclude current Minister of Lands to allow him answer the corruption charges he is facing in court and clear his name there. This is the decision I have made following yesterday’ submission to me of an official ACB report on the charges the Minister is facing, which is the same process I followed when I dismissed two ministers in the past.” Said President Chakwera in his address.
On the conduct portrayed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau Director, Martha Chizuma, President Chakwera said that despite the advice from many legal minds to fire her for misconduct as stated by Section 6(B) Sub(2) of Corrupt Practices Act of 2019, he determine to spare her.
“But upon consideration of multiple factors, I have determine that the best thing to do in this instance is to keep a watchful eye on her general conduct of the bureau’s affairs in order to ensure that there are no other incidents of concern about her fitness for office going forward. As such I have given her stun warning about what the law demands and what I expect from her as the person I appointed to that office.” Read part of President Chakwera’ national address.
Here President Chakwera stated that Chizuma was appointed for being considered as a person of great courage, integrity, strength, vision, experience, and a member of a team of warriors needed to take on dangerous cartels of corruption and fight for justice.
“I believed that it is because of her resolve to fight corruption that the corruption is fought back and use someone she trusted to betray her and expose her and me to embarrassment. I therefore warn those evil forces that recorded her to know that Neither I, Nor Miss Chizuma are moved by their efforts to drail my agenda to rid Malawi of corruption.”
President Chakwera then said if those who made the recording of Chizuma, or made attacks on him (President Chakwera) thought it will force him to fire Chizuma, or take the President out of the way, then their efforts are in vain and will not move the two.
He then said as a nation Malawi will never retreat or relent, quoting what Chizima said in the leaked audio that “Nkhondo iyiyi ndi ya tonse ndipo tiwina” Citing his subjection to questioning by the ACB officers which none of the sitting Head of State has ever done in Malawi as a clear testimony and true reflection of his commitment to fight corruption.
Meanwhile, President Lazarus Chakwera has directed the Minister of Justice to inform the Attorney General that he doesn’t support the offer of Amnesty to those who defrauded government and Malawian people, saying it needs to be effected with clear legislative framework that allows it to be implemented lawfully and without appearing soft on corruption.