…Chizuma sidelines senior directors
Graft-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), is currently simmering with undercurrents with its top-most boss Martha Chizuma sidelining own directors when discharging her duties.
Instead, Chizuma has developed a positive relationship with her junior staff at the expense of her own senior directors.
The bad blood between Chizuma and her own senior management is, however, stifling and derailing the fight against corruption in the country which many feel remains rampant.
In several interviews, inside sources at ACB have revealed that Chizuma doesn’t trust his own directors and fears that they are on a mission bent to “finish” her.
On source said Chizuma has lined up a number of junior officers whom she entrusts as she sends them to investigate or prosecute cases at the expense of her own directors.
According to the source, Chizuma fell off “from the word go” with director of investigations a Mr. Mponda as well as director of prosecution identified as Chrispin Khunga.
“She has been delegating junior staff members elsewhere to represent her whether on international duties or court cases domestically. This has not gone down well with directors who have recently also ganged up to frustrate the director general herself.
“You see what, if two elephants are fighting, it’s the grass that suffers and this analogy can be applied in the same context at ACB whether the tag-of-war between the director and her directors is frustrating the fight against corruption in Malawi,” said the source.
The sources added: “Even when she was making an oath of secret during a case of businessman Zuneith Sattar, she never involved these other directors. That was strange and unprecedented.”
Another source said Chizuma is enjoying a cordial relationship with one Victor Chiwala, who we gather is a chief prosecutor and is based in Blantyre.
Meanwhile, the anti-corruption czar is also increasingly facing further challenges from the offices of the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) which have taken several positions contrary to ACB’s position.
The AG and DPP famously isolated the ACB in announcing a general amnesty in the Sattar investigations, without consulting the ACB or giving it a prior warning.