CONFUSION: Govt not aware of Chizuma’s arrest

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Malawians have been submerged with confusion as the government of Malawi said they are not aware of the arrest of the Anti-Corruption Bureau General Manager, Martha Chizuma.

Police this morning had arrested the Corruption graft-busting boss arguing that the arrest was linked to an audio which circulated on social media early this year.

In the audio, the Director General was allegedly speaking about ongoing investigations.

“The preliminary information that I have is that the arrest is to do with the leaked audio. Yes, the matter was dealt with at the High Court, but when the Judge was making the pronouncement, she stated that whoever was doing it should not go round, sending people bringing up the charges.

“The judge said if they want, then the DPP [Director of Public Prosecution] should just proceed as is mandated by law. So I think that’s what is happening. So, it is the DPP,” said Kaukonde.

In April, the Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court ordered the Malawi Police Service and the DPP to investigate the leaked audio.

It followed an application by private citizen Frighton Phombo who moved the court to open a case against Chizuma on allegations that she violated the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) by revealing to a third party information on United Kingdom based businessperson Zunneth Sattar, who is under investigation for corruption.

Later that month, DPP Steve Kayuni wrote the Inspector General (IG) of Police to investigate and authenticate the leaked audio.

Chizuma was scheduled to be interviewed by police at Area 30 Police Headquarters in Lilongwe to ascertain if criminal charges can be levelled against her, but police suspended the meeting at the eleventh hour, saying some people were planning to demonstrate against their action.

The Director General then applied to the High Court for a review of an order and criminal proceedings commenced against her by Phompho.

Parliament has waived all standing orders to discuss the arrest of Anti-Corruption Bureau director general Martha Chizuma

Reacting to the matter, government through the Minister of Justice, Titus Mvalo, said the arrest of Chizuma is a work of those trying to frustrate the fight against corruption.

“As government we are shocked with the arrest of Chizuma and we condemn the arrest. This arrest has been done behind government’s back.

Meanwhile, Rumphi East legislator, Kamlepo Kalua said Mvalo is lying. Kalua said there is something that government is hiding. He said government has to show that it is competent and in control of things.

United Democratic Front president Lilian Patel said its unfair to arrest Chizuma. She wondered why Chizuma was arrested early in the morning.

She said she will join all the women to demonstrate against the move.

Machinga East MP Esther Jolobala has called on Mvalo to resign saying he has failed on his duty.

Mzimba North MP Yeremiah Chihana has called for suspension of parliament proceedings for MPs to follow up on the arrest.

Chihana has alleged that Chizuma has been assaulted by a female police officer.

Reacting to her arrest, Chizuma has told a local media house from Namitete Police where the law enforcers have charged her with making use of speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings contrary to section 131(1) d of the penal code before granting her bail.

According to Chizuma, she knows what is happening.

“And I know why it is happening now. I have a very good idea of the timing. They should be fighting corruption. Not this,” she added.

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