By Steria Manda
Renowned Governance and Human Rights Expert Undule Mwakasungula has described the assenting of the recently enacted Corrupt Practices Act by President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera as a right step towards rooting out corruption.
The new Act gives the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) powers to prosecuting corruption cases with seeking consent from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
ACB Director General Martha Chizuma has been attributing delayed corruption cases to failure or denial by DPP to give consent. But with the Act in place, the Bureau will not need any consent to prosecute cases.
Commenting on the matter on Saturday, Mwakasungula said the assenting of the Act demonstrates President Chakwera’s commitment in fighting corruption in Malawi, stressing that this will.also help in expediting prosecution; hence, deal with the backlog of cases, which need to be prosecuted and closed.
“It is Malawians’ hope that the ACB will have no excuses now in view of the assenting of the bill into law. Malawians are therefore looking at speedy prosecution of the corruption cases some of which are long overdue. Much as we might be excited with the assenting of the bill it is also important to speed up the establishment of the Financial Crime Court to help speed up these cases,” he said.
But Mwakasungula warned that the law alone without a special court to prosecute corruption cases could be a non-starter.
He recommended that the assenting of the Act and the establishment of this special court should go hand in hand.
“Using the existing courts, which are already overwhelmed with other cases, will still be a setback,” said the activist.