……Commission of Inquiry report wanting
The recent act by Government to interdict and fight for removal of Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General Martha Chizuma shows that President Lazarus Chakwera led administration is not fighting corruption, the United States Mission to Malawi has said.
In a strongly worded statement, the US Government representative took swipe at a Commission of Inquiry that Chakwera had set up in the aftermath of arrest of Chizuma, saying it produced “unbalanced report.”
“As a democratic partner, the Embassy of the 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.
“Our shared commitment to Malawi’s development depends on trust that Malawi will use public resources, including development funds, transparently, fairly, and with accountability. These recent actions undermine the credibility of the Government of Malawi’s stated commitment to the fight against corruption,” reads a statement from the US mission in Malawi.
The Mission expresses frustration that its engagement with senior government officials to seek renewed commitment to the fight against corruption has not yielded results.
The USA is the largest donor to Malawi and the statement means Washington is now undertaking steps which might see senior Malawi government officials being banned and its aid programmes including the US$350 million Millenium Challenge Account (MCA) project suspended.
“The Attorney General’s urgent application yesterday to vacate a court order issued earlier this week culminates two months of harassment by
Government of Malawi officials against Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General Martha Chizuma,” says the statement.
The Mission says the step by Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda seeks to reinstitute the action by the Secretary to the President and Cabinet to interdict the
“These measures by senior officials follow the
December arrest of the Director General in the middle of the night in an armed police raid. Since then, no one who carried out or authorized the arrest has been held to account,” states the US government.
The American representative office to Malawi then publicly rebukes the report by the Justice Edward Twea (Rtd) saying, “the Government
established a Commission of Inquiry that not only produced an
unbalanced report but also did not address the violations of the Director General’s fundamental human rights. The State then initiated criminal charges against the Director General.”
It says steps by Chakaka Nyirenda confirms that Malawi Government intends to pursue the charges against Chizuma.
President Chakwera is pursuing Chizuma’s removal after he publicly lied to Malawians that the state has dropped the matter.