By Antony Isaiah Jr:…
The minister of Information, Gospel Kazako who is also a government Spokesperson said the biggest responsibility of the government in fighting against Corruption is providing the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) with Resources.
The minister made the sentiment in reaction to the letter of the Catholic Bishops that rated the Tonse Alliance as the failure in their term since they won the 2020 fresh elections.
In their letter, the Bishops said the Tonse Alliance government is failing to lead by example as they are yet to deal with cases of corruption in the country.
Four months ago, the Anti-Corruption Bureau released the report which included some of the government officials who were complicated in the UK based business tycoon, Zuneth Sattar.
President Lazarus Chakwera said that a total of 84 individuals were appearing on the UK based business man Zuneth Sattar’s list and were alleged to have received funds from the corruption suspect.
During the Presidential National Address at state house, Chakwera said the Zuneth Sattar’s corruption was deeply entrenched and it had affected a number of sectors.
Public officers from Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Malawi police, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), Office of President and Cabinet, Office of the Vice President, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB),Judiciary, ministry of Finance, ministry Information, ministry Tourism, Homeland Security, received funds from Zuneth Sattar according to Bureau’s report.
President Lazarus Chakwera said the report had disclosed that 53 public officers and former public officers received money from Sattar between March 2021 and October 2021.
31 individuals from private sector and the media also received money from the UK based Business man.
That brought the total number of beneficiaries to 84.
He added that of the 84 named individuals, 13 have been extensively investigated and they include the vice president, Inspector General of Police, State House Chief of staff, and Chairperson of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA).
He, on that basis, had since with immediate effect fired the Inspector General, Dr Kainja, Statehouse Chief of staff and PPDA Chairman.
However, from that action, no further action has been taken and the Democratic Progressive Party called for the ACB to release the full list of the Beneficiaries of the vice.
Speaking during the DPP pressing in Mangochi at Page House three months ago, Charles Mhango who was making a presentation on behalf of the party’s legal team says the truth should be laid bare.
“What did vice president Dr Saulos Chilima mean when he recently raised the issue of immunity of the president?” wondered Mhango who eventually brought the Chichewa saying that goes “Nsomba ikamaola siyambira kumchira, koma kumutu.”
After seeing the government not taking part in the cases of corruption, the Bishops said the tonse alliance is lacking cooperation in dealing with the cases.
“Is there a serious cooperation and coordination among government institutions mandated to deal with corruption? Why is there lack of noticeable progress on many corruption cases that involve the politically and business connected?
“Why are there long delays in any action being taken in response to reports submitted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] to the relevant authorities? Who is being protected? Whose interests are being served?”
In reaction to this, Kazako said they just expect ACB to be independent and professional.
“Our responsibility as government is to provide the Anti-Corruption Bureau with necessary resources to fight against the vice [corruption]. We expect it [ACB] to be independent and professional. We have capacitated them in a record volume. We have gone to an extend of amending the law to ensure smooth flow of their operation,” said Kazako.
The Spokesperson said the cases are being delayed in courts and government has limitations on how they can push the courts.
“The concept of separation of powers creates distance with the courts. We have limitations on how we can push the courts. We avoid being accused of interfering with the independent court processes. We also get concerned when there are delays in courts,” added Kazako.
The Tonse Alliance adminstration led by President Lazarus Chakwera substantially increased funding to the ACB from about K3 billion to about K5 billion in July 2020, a move heralded as a commitment to fight corruption.