Mzuzu Youth Anti-Corruption Movement has called for the independence of the country’s graft bursting Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) when discharging their duties amid concern of political influence.
The call come in the wake of Malawi State President Lazarus Chakwera and his Vice Saulos Chilima openly trashing ACB Director Martha Chizuma and the bureau for their conduct and report in their investigation of alleged bribery of public officials over the awarding of Government contracts by businessman Zuneth Sattar.
In an Interview Chairperson for the movement Matthews Kajani, said despite they are glad to see that issues of corruption are being taken with the seriousness that it deserves however the stance that the President and Vice have taken could cripple and compromise the investigations that ACB are currently conducting.
Adding, the open dressing down of the bureau might leave an environment where it is not safe and conducive for the bureau to carry out investigations freely without any interference therefore denying Malawian justice to prevail.
“As a movement what we noted was that the State President consistently criticized the ACB Director for her conduct throughout the investigation and the report submitted to him and that has left us disappointed hence we feel that it might compromise the independence of the bureau interns of investigating high profile corruption cases in Malawi.” He said.
Never the less Kajani expressed confidence in the ACB to conclude investigations quickly and prosecute those found with cases to answer in the Zuneth Sattar alleged bribery cases.
However Louis Nkhatha a Social Commentator in the country, said the President had rushed into conclusions and should have waited for the ACB and the Courts take the next course of action over the alleged bribery of high profile officials by Sattar before making up his own conclusions.
“The sad part about this is that the ACB’s independence has already been compromised and now we are likely to see information and evidence being hidden which defeats the purpose of this vital investigation that the bureau is carrying out.” He explained.
According to the national address delivered on Tuesday 84 high profile officials in the public and private sector including the Civil Society and the media and a long with the country’s vice president have been implicated in the alleged bribery cases of awarding of Government contracts.