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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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PRESS STATEMENT: LAWFUL AND PROFESSIONALISM IN HANDLING SATTAR’S MATTER

Zuneth Sattar

Forum For National Development FND has been engaging both the office of the Anti – Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Attorney General (AG) on how the Government has been handling the matter related to investigation on allegations that Mr. Zuneth Sattar’s has been offering and bribing politically exposed persons in Malawi to obtain procurement contracts.

Looking at how the matter is being handled, we question whether the state officers are working in isolation or together? For instance, the AG previously was on record to have stated that when the British National Crime Agency (NCA) came to Malawi his office was not aware because the foreign agency was dealing directly with the ACB. 

In the statement of 9th January 2022, the AG has come out as an appropriate authority to engage with the British Government. What is ironic is that the statement has come on the background of FND letter dated 4th January 2022 where we demanded the Cooperation agreement that the ACB used in engaging the NCA. 

What the AG statement has shown is that the previous ACB engagement with NCA was not from his office which is the authority on the matter, the question then is, how did the ACB sidestep the authority of the AG to engage directly with the NCA? How legal were the actions of ACB and NCA including searching private property, participating in interviewing suspects when NCA had no legal jurisdiction in Malawi?

ACB Director Martha Chizuma

The ACB already issued a stop and freezing order of dealing with Sattar’s companies to all Government agencies, then comes the AG issuing a similar pronouncement? Is it a process of trying to outdo each other?  Did the AG engage the ACB before making the pronouncement? Furthermore, the ACB seems not to be aware of the amnesty being extended by the AG which is another cause of concern on the relationship between the two offices.

Then there is a matter of state offices and relationship with social media influencers. We have noted in ACB continued leakage of information to some social media influencer. FND already raised the matter with the ACB and we are yet to get a response.  

But we continue to note that most actions that the ACB are doing or are yet to be carried out are first pre-emptied by social media influencers? What is the level of influence does these social media influencers have on ACB? We would want to know who is doing this at ACB? Is the Director surrounded by moles? Isn’t this breaking the oath of secrecy? 

AG THAMBO NYIRENDA

Is it professional to be getting inside information about ACB from social media? There are social media influencers who speak with authority about this matter yet ACB or any state agency have never summoned them to substantiate their claims and aid the investigations. 

We therefore request for the state agencies including the AG, the ACB, Fiscal Police, the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)to start showing professionalism and lawfulness in as far as dealing with the matter as it will also demonstrate level of seriousness is dealing with perceived corruption. 

Signed 

Bright Kampaundi – CHAIRPERSON    

Fryson Chodzi -NATIONAL COORDINATOR

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