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    ACB REPRIMANDED FOR JUDGE SHOPPING AND WASTEFULNESS

    The country’s graft-busting agency, the Anti Corruption Bureau, has come under fire for misusing the already tight resources by judge shopping and systematic wastefulness of resources.

    This comes at the back of a warrant of arrest the bureau obtained early this year in Zomba but issued yesterday for suspected money launderers who are based in Blantyre.

    Particulars of the offence are that ACB has arrested Alex Dzinkambani who is alleged to have obtained K3 million as a loan from Malawi Against Physical Disability (MAP) with help from another accused person, Gloria Kanu and her other two colleagues.

    Once warned judicial officials against judge shopping

    Both warrants for the arrest of Dzinkambani and Kanu were issued at by the Zomba Magistrate Court on January 21, 2022 and served yesterday (18th May 2022) by ACB’s Senior Investigations Officer, Peter Beza.

    It is alleged that Kanu, being MAP Chief Administration Officer, authorized the K3 million loan with the help of General Manager Sydney Ndembe and Finance Officer Beatrice Nkhoma.

    Despite the move being part of the fight against corruption, ACB has courted fresh controversy on why they in the first place obtained a warrant from Zomba for suspects residing and working in Blantyre where the bureau operates from.

    “There is a magistrate’s court right opposite the ACB premises: less than 30 metres from their offices in Blantyre. There are magistrate’s courts at Chichiri, at Limbe and at Lunzu. The accused persons stay and work in Blantyre and their offices are opposite Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. But ACB could not see these but drove more than 60 kilometres to Zomba to get a warrant of arrest. Isn’t this abuse of court process? Isn’t this judge shopping? What message are we sending to the public?” queried one renowned social commentator who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid being taken to task for commenting on issues currently in court.

    Lately, ACB has complained of inadequate resources to carry out its duties at all its stations across the country. This is why their decisions to travel long distances is raising eyebrows.

    Ndala: Unavailable for comment

    On issues of judge shopping, the bureau ought to tread carefully as this malpractice has dented the Judiciary.

    Former Chief Justice, Andrew Nyirenda, is on record to have warned judges and magistrates across the country to stop being shopped by individuals and organizations so as to issue suspicious warrants and injunctions, sometimes at odd hours.

    Efforts to speak to ACB on the matter proved futile as phones for spokesperson Egrita Ndala went unanswered.

     

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