A majority of Malawians are in support of the idea that Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general, Martha Chizuma, should either resign or be fired from her role at the graft-busting body.
According to accumulative statistics during ‘News Talk, a popular phone in program at leading private radio station Capital FM, over 90 percent of callers believe that Chizuma is not the rightful person in the role and should pave way for a more mature and competent person.
Reasons for waning of trust from Malawians range from her failure to strategize on how the bureau is supposed to end corruption and initiating unnecessary arrests that yield nothing more than a single court appearance followed by indefinite bail.
The program came about as the day’s hot topic following an earlier press conference held by National Elections Systems Trust (NEST) and Pan African Civic Educators Network (PACE-NET) who have called for Chizuma’s resignation within 72 hours.
In a joint statement, the two human rights bodies expressed dissatisfaction with how the fight against corruption is shaping up.
“NEST and PACE-NET have arrived at this verdict having observed prominent administrative and legal shortcomings experienced by the bureau since Ms. Chizuma assumed office in February 2021. We note with great concern that despite commitment from government and other stakeholders to support the bureau with financial and human resources there has been minimal or no progress in the fight against corruption on many fronts.”
The two, represented by Unandi Banda for NEST and Olive Mpina for PACE-NET, further wondered why Chizuma has for almost half of her three-year tenure failed to galvanize the capacity of Anti Corruption Bureau to make it achieve its intended targets in the fight against corruption.
Chizuma is being accused by the two rights bodies of leaking sensitive information to outsiders in a leaked phone call early this year and her lack of coordination with the Attorney General, office of Director of Public Prosecution, Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) and Malawi Police.
She is also being questioned over missing files at ACB in relation to 44 cars that were purchased by Saulos Chilima’s UTM.
NEST and PACE-NET say they will seek more avenues if Chizuma defies their request to resign.