The Anti-Corruption Bureau says President Peter Mutharika, though mentioned in the leaked dossier, is not yet a suspect of corruption, until investigations are concluded the bureau will know who should be prosecuted or not.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe today, ACB Director Reyneck Matemba said so far there are no suspects of corruption involving in the ‘suspicious’ deal between the Malawi Police Service and Pioneer Investment, which Mutharika was named to have benefited from K145 million (about $200 000) deposited into the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) account to which he is a sole signatory.
According to Matemba at this point in time the Bureau is yet to make a determination of who is a suspect to be prosecuted, saying what was contained in the leaked document was just recommendations and not a directive or order.
He further said the leaked report was from the Investigative Unit of the bureau and was yet to be reviewed by Legal and Prosecution sections, which determines possible charges based on presented evidence.
“We all know the meaning of the word recommendation, it is not a directive, and it is not an order. This is what the investigators found…so they are recommending to prosecution and legal that can you take a look at this. So recommendations are recommendations, so it will be premature to say they are suspect or not. We have had cases were suspects have become witnesses–it depends on their role” Matemba explained.
The ACB also lashed at critics who consider the focus on investigating the leakage of the report as less important, saying this is a serious criminal matter which has the potential to affect the current and on-going investigation.
Matemba indicated that the leakage has undermined the role of the bureau and also that if there is no remedial action on the matter the current investigation on the Malawi Police Service ration deal may end up like “the Chaponda case where the bureau is accused of putting up a weak case”.
According to Matemba some of the key informants who are expected to be witnesses have warned the bureau that if nothing is done about the leakage they will not testify in court–a situation which will affect prosecution of the case at hand.
“If you at that report there are names of people that came forward to the bureau on trust and in confidence–whistleblowers, informants. Some of them will be our witnesses. What most people are forgetting is that the leakage exposed those people.”
“Already three of them I will not mention names called us to say – you guys you have put our lives at risk, you have exposed us–we gave you this information on trust. If this is not remedied forget it we will not come forward to even testify” said Matemba.
The visibly displeased ACB boss further pointed out that the informants who have been exposed can sue the bureau for revealing their identity in line with section 51(A) of the Corrupt Practices Act which compels the graft-busting body to protect informers. (The Nation)