…Ndirande, Muluzi cases rile Ministers
…MCP gurus call him Director of discontinuance.
Senior Cabinet Ministers and the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) officials are calling for the head of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Masauko Chamkakala after he discontinued the case against three populous Ndirande residents last week.
Dozens of the politically volatile township of Ndirande Township residents in Blantyre turned up at the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court to support their colleagues who were arrested and accused of obstructing and throwing stones at President Lazarus Chakwera’s motorcade.
Chamkakala then ordered Police to discontinue the case against Pearson Chimimba, 48, Hector Ndawala, 38, and Lucy Namba, 25, who were arrested and were supposed to be charged formally.
State Prosecutor from Southwest Police Region prosecution officer Damiano Kaputa had told the court that police were scared to arrest more people in the township as it was too hostile for them.
Chamkakala’s decision, which was prudent and more advantageous to the MCP, however, has not resonated well with the party’s politburo, who think the decision was a sign of weakness on the part of the government.
“That’s weakness; he has weakened the President politically; this chap needs to go. He made the Bakili Muluzi decision without even consulting the President. He is not politically smart, he can’t serve our needs,” a Minister told a close associate of The Investigator Magazine.
The Investigator Magazine has verified that the DPP has been attacked by Ministers, particularly three Ministers, in handling politically sensitive cases, and they have predicted that he might not last long.
“We call him Mr Discontinuance in the party meetings; that’s the only thing he has achieved. He has not won any case, and he can’t arrest anyone. He seems to be working against us. We have recommended that he be moved,” said another MCP official.
A discontinued case can be restarted within one year, but as we head towards the campaign for the 2024 Presidential elections, President Chakwera, whose popularity ratings are at their lowest, cannot afford a battle with what is known as the “barometer of Malawi politics.”
Chakwera is now scared of travelling across by road as Malawians have resorted to booing or, at times, stoning his convoy as he continues to fail to handle the economy and food shortages.
Residents of Ndirande have told The Investigator Magazine that any court case against one of them will be a case against the township, and the Government should be prepared for the consequences. The trend is projected to continue as elections, scheduled for September 2025, approach.
The three Ministers were approached for comment, but without denying the matter, they all demanded to know the source of “confidential conversations”, and the DPP could not be reached.
On May 29, 2023, the High Court of Malawi sitting in Blantyre exonerated Muluzi from all charges in the $12 million abuse of public funds case that had dragged for about 14 years after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Masauko Chamkakala issued a certificate of discontinuance dated May 26, 2023.