Opinion: Time for the world to Act on Malawi Government and their corrupt barons

From social media post 

Talking Blues: The Malawi-Sattar debacle, isn’t it time for the Magnitsky Act?




The Chief Resident Magistrate’s court (Lilongwe) adjourned a case in which ACB Director General (DG) Martha Chizuma is accused of making defamatory remarks in a leaked audio conversation. The court ordered Chizuma’s plea taking to be done on 8 February 2023.

Whether the plea-taking will transpire, we will see. If the case itself will continue, again, it remains to be seen. 

Kindly allow me to explain my reservations. First, the summons /charge sheet has two counts. Chizuma allegedly injured High Court Judge Simeon Mdeza (first count) and former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steven Kayuni (second count).

According to reports, Justice Simon Mdeza, one of the supposedly injured parties, did not complain to the Police or any authority over the clip. It has further been reported that he was surprised to learn about his inclusion in the charge sheet.

While the judge was interviewed by police officers when investigating the previous complaint by Dr Steven Kayuni, he is said to have told Police he had no desire to press any charges or take any legal action.

Second, there are questions about who authorised the prosecution, given that the office of the DPP is currently vacant following Dr Kayuni’s removal. His replacement, Mr Masauko Chamkakala, is yet to be confirmed by Parliament.

To this point, Parliament, through the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament Chairperson Peter Dimba, feels there is more than meets the eye and wants answers from the Minister of Justice.

“Section 99 of the Constitution is self-explanatory. It is the DPP only who can institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court other than a court martial and not the Chief Police Prosecutor who has signed the summon,” Dimba said.

All the above are enough cause for concern on three levels. 

First, the fact that Judge Mdeza is surprised at his inclusion can be interpreted to mean the Chief Police Prosecutor has just added him to the case to launder Dr Kayuni’s “complaint”, which, as discussed at length last week, is mired in multiple conflicts of interest.

Second, the Chief Police Prosecutor – to all practical purposes and intents – has just picked up from where they left in December and added Judge Mdeza to disguise the fact this is just a continuation of their persecution of Chizuma, contrary to what the Minister of Justice told Parliament.

Third, it means that everything that Malawians were informed before, through and after the dubious Commission of Inquiry were lies and damn lies. 

The implication is that President Lazarus Chakwera, oblivious to the saying ‘the higher the monkey climbs, the more he is exposed’, is playing the proverbial hare, futilely trying to hide behind a leaf.

All these issues point to one thing: President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration wants to stop all Zunneth Sattar-related investigations and cases at any cost. Hence, the hatred for Chizuma for her unprecedented determination to put Malawi and not Sattar first.

Why do they hate her so much?

The first reason is her disruptive philosophy in the fight against graft. Her prioritising tackling current corruption is at odds with the expectations of those in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), who unwisely confused votes entrusted to Chakwera as multiple licences to loot.

They expected that Chizuma, like her predecessors, would apply the first-in-first-out approach and focus on corruption by previous regimes. Ignoring ongoing corruption, everyone knows, is akin to pouring water into a leaking pail. Sanity demands sealing the holes first.

Chizuma knows this; Malawians agree with her, and for this, they love her.

The second is that in the deluded minds of Chakwera’s henchmen, had Chizuma focused on old cases, she would have decimated their political rivals. As a result, without delivering the many promises Chakwera made, 2025 would be a shoo-in for MCP.

Contrary to their laughable fantasies, Chizuma’s last-in-first-out approach is giving prominence to their scandals – which are incredibly rampant. To the chagrin of Chakwera’s henchmen, this is free ammunition for rivals.

Instead of repenting, they opt to hate Chizuma, as if she is the one who told them to steal. Being a horde that wanted power for one and only one reason, i.e. to steal, Chizuma is their worst nightmare.

At this point, permit me to digress. I have noted some smart alecks that happily discuss the leaked audio without mentioning the role of one Anderson Mwakyelu. Look here; anyone who has listened to the audio observed that:

1) The dialogue was and sounded odd. This was because it was not a typical call between friends. Clearly, Anderson Mwakyelu was phishing and setting the unsuspecting and perhaps naïve Chizuma up.

2) At the very end, Anderson Mwakyelu, impressed with himself, boasted to an audience no one is keen to know more about that “this is the way I speak to Martha”.

My take: Anyone wanting to make the leaked audio a big deal should first investigate Anderson Mwakyelu’s motivations for the call and find his accomplices.

Who hired Anderson Mwakyelu to set up Martha?

For some unfathomable reason, not a single police officer nor a single member of the recent commission of inquiry wants to explore this. 

When it comes to Anderson Mwakyelu, the so-called Chief Police Prosecutor develops acute amnesia about Section 319A(f) of the Penal Code, which creates an offence punishable by seven years imprisonment for any person to engage in deceit to induce another person to do or say something that she or he is lawfully entitled to abstain from doing or saying.

Why? I posit that there is an order not to investigate Anderson Mwakyelu. Order from who? Your guess is as good as mine.

This is why, in my view, vis-à-vis this evident State Capture by one Sattar, our development partners should stop handling the Chakwera administration with kid gloves. 

The British, the European Union and the US Governments have the tool(s) to help ordinary Malawians – the ultimate losers – take on Sattar and his puppets.

It is high time that the UK’s National Crimes Agency (NCA) moved on with Sattar’s prosection.

The earlier he is locked up and the keys thrown in the Thames in London or the Shire River in Malawi, the safer our meagre public purse will be in Malawi. 

The longer he remains free – be it on bail, the more our disgusting authorities will be concocting schemes to continue paying him so that they continue getting their pittances while persecuting Ms Chizuma.

As for the US Government, it only needs to ask the NCA for a complete list of Sattar’s enablers, and the NCA will oblige. The day the US Government sanctions the parasites, the merciless leeches, the sons and daughters of vipers serving as Sattar’s puppets using the Magnitsky Act, is when sanity and justice will reign in Malawi.

Mr President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr, what are you waiting for? Further delays will lead to a stoppage of aid which will punish the poor already being punished for sins and crimes they did not partake in!

America, we are under siege! Bring the Magnitsky Act to bear! Save lives in Malawi.

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