Renowned radio social satirist, Bwande, has torn into Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Martha Chizuma for what he terms gross incompetence in handling corruption cases since she came into office over 18 months ago.
Airing on MIJ FM on Friday Bwande wondered why the fight against corruption has been on a slow pace despite numerous measures by authorities to empower the bureau in many aspects.
“Whenever you check on progress of investigations and cases, ACB always give a picture as if something tangible is happening. Truth is there has been silence on almost all high profile investigations and cases. It is not an encouraging sign,” said Bwande.
He pointed out investigations that led to the suspension of State House Chief of Staff, Prince Kapondamgaga, and the withdrawal of delegated duties to Vice President Saulos Chilima as good examples of the slow pace under discussion.
“May be we rushed to expose them to public ridicule before conducting comprehensive investigations relating to the suspicious we had on them. We could have done better.”
It is almost five months now since President Chakwera took this decision with the hope that investigations on these people would be expedited. Everything, though, has come to a complete standstill with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Bwande also outlined the various measures government through its arms has taken to empower the bureau.
“At first she complained about money but government gave ACB enough funds for operations. She then complained about inadequate staff but now the bureau has enough personnel in all departments. There was a time she also said she doesn’t have enough laws to help her fight corruption. Right now she has power to prosecute without seeking consent but she is also failing to do anything. What else is she looking for?” queried Bwande.
Since the President assented to the Corrupt Practices Amendment Act into a Bill, Malawians have been anxious to see whether Chizuma will show her mettle in the fight against corruption. Unfortunately, she seems clueless as well on how to utilize the legal instruments handed over to her.
The satirist also wondered why the ACB director is even failing to perform well in court on the already few cases she is handling.
In several ongoing court cases, like the issue involving National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma), Chizuma has been reprimanded by judges for being unready with some obvious processes. This too has contributed to the failure by the bureau to proceed with cases as expected.
The program labeled Chizuma as Malita the pangolin in direct reference to the wild mammal which has become a protected species by governments world over. Chizuma has been treated as a protected personality with hope that she was going to do wonders as ACB director.
Bwande’s underlying message was that probably Chizuma was overrated as someone who could do the job on behalf of Malawians but has grossly failed midway into her three-year tenure.