After making harsh decisions towards four people including his vice Saulos Chilima for being implicated in corrupt activities by United Kingdom base Malawian businessman Zuneth Sattar, President Lazarus Chakwera described the report by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) as an example of substandard work.
Last evening, president Chakwera addressed the nation following the elapse of a 21 day ultimatum he gave the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Martha Chizuma to serve him a report on investigations the bureau is conducting regarding Sattar.
According to Chakwera, the report has named 84 individuals who allegedly received money from Sattar in 2021, the report says the beneficiaries are from the public service, the media, and private sector among others.
The reports continues that following the intensive investigations it conducted it can confidently conclude that every name mentioned in the bureau’s report, conducted themselves in dealing corruptly with Sattar.
Out of 84 people, president Chakwera only took action on four people, his vie Chilima who the constitution does not allow the president to suspend, instead he has crippled delegated powers his office assign to the vice president’s office.
Adding to that he fired the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service (MPS) George Kainja because according to the bureau they have recording of Kainja and Sattar purportedly discussing procurement deals and inducements hence a move to dismiss him.
Despite suspending the Chief of Staff of the state residence Chris Kapondamgaga and the board chair of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) John Suzi Banda, president Chakwera said the report by the bureau does not explain how they were involved in any corrupt dealings with Sattar as the report has done with the police IG.
According to Chakwera, the ACB of selective justice.
“Despite my appeal for the Bureau to produce a report of its findings about what these individuals did, the Bureau’s report provides no single piece of information about that, nor has the Bureau interviewed them or given an explanation for the omission of those critical details, which leaves me no more informed about their involvement today than I was three weeks ago,” said Chakwera.
The Malawi leader continued that the bureau has left out names who allegedly receive money from Sattar from 2008 to 2020. According to Chakwera, the bureau is practicing selective pursuit of justice.
“I find it bizarre for the Bureau to leave out the names of those from the first 12 of the 13 years in which the corruption allegedly happened. That kind of selective justice is a clear signal to those who practiced corruption in the past that the seriousness of their crimes against Malawians are based not on the laws they broke or the harm they caused to this country, but on the whims of the Bureau, and that has to change.” He said.
He continued; “But I must say that while I remain confident that the Bureau is critical to this fight, because of the glaring information gaps in its report, including the absence of any information about what the Bureau’s plan of action is, I consider the report to be an example of substandard work. And on a matter as serious and sensitive as this, Malawians deserve better,”
Chakwera’s sentiments on the ACB director General have brought mixed reactions to the citizens as some fear that the Malawi leader might be forced to relive Chizuma off his duties and some are optimistic that the president is hiding other individuals.
The victims of Sattar virus are yet to comment on the matter.