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Malawi irks USA over corruption…Judicial harassment of ACB Czar Chizuma

…views government actions on ACB Czar Chizuma as harassment

The United States of America (USA) has expressed deep concerns with the direction taken by President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance administration in fighting corruption in Malawi.

This follows continued ‘torture’ on Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Martha Chizuma by state machinery operating with full ‘blessings’ from President Chakwera.

The recent development which has ‘mostly’ angered the Western donors including US with the move by Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka- Nyirenda to move the court to restore the interdiction of ACB boss Chizuma.

Attorney General is the Principal legal Advisor of President Chakwera.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 the US Embassy in Lilongwe said: “We are “deeply concerned” by the series of actions by the Government of Malawi that have severely damaged the credibility of its fight against corruption,”

AG CHAKAKA NYIRENDA

According to the USA Embassy, the move by the AG to vacate a court order “culminates two months of harassment” by Government of Malawi officials on ACB director Chizuma.

“As democratic partner, the Embassy of United States looks to the government of Malawi to actively pursue the fight against corruption and not to wage a campaign of intimidation against anti-corruption champions,” reads the statement in part

Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Collen Zamba interdicted Chizuma who is facing criminal charges in relation to her leaked audio clips.

On Monday, High Court Judge Mike Tembo suspended implementation of the interdiction order that restrained Chizuma from discharging duties of her office pending her criminal defamation case.

Police arrested Chizuma at dawn on December 6, 2022 following a complaint purportedly filed by former Director of Public Prosecutions Kayuni about a viral audio.

However, she was first released on police bail hours later before Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo told Parliament she was released unconditionally.

Chakwera, Zamba (Middle) and Chizuma

In January last year, President Lazarus Chakwera reprimanded Chizuma over the audio, but said he had forgiven her and she would remain in her position.

A commission of inquiry into Chizuma’s arrest also faulted both Chizuma and Kayuni for failing to use sound judgement in the handling of the issues.

However, in a statement US embassy said the Commission of Inquiry instituted by President Chakwera did not only produce an unbalanced report but also did not address the violations of Chizuma’s fundamental human rights.

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