Malawi Law Society (MLS) has said the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is within its mandate to investigate and prosecute the Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima as he is not immune to any prosecution while in the office.
In a statement signed by MLS President Patrick Mpaka and Secretary Christine Ngunde, the society has also asked UTM cadres to stop obstructing the graft busting body’s interrogators to meet Chilima and question him over his involvement with businessman Zuneth Sattar.
Reads the MLS statement: “Under the Constitution the Vice President is not immune from criminal prosecution. Given that sustained high level corruption has been among the major and primary setbacks undermining the realisation of the will and aspirations of the people of Malawi to progressive development as recorded in several places in the Constitution, the ACB is therefore duty bound and should take up and conclude any criminal investigations and prosecution against the Vice President if the Bureau has evidence of such malpractice attributed to the Vice President.
“Without prejudice to the legal presumption of his innocence, the Vice President remains liable to criminal prosecution if the ACB or any law enforcement agency has reason to believe in his potential guilt.”
The Law Society also weighed on the decision made by President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on his deputy.
“The President, on the other hand remains at liberty to decide to delegate or not to delegate some functions to the Vice President. And the President’s announcement entails that the President has opted for the latter option,” reads the statement.
On Friday, members of the UTM stormed Chilima’s Area 43 residence where they held a vigil in an alleged attempt to bar ACB from interrogating the vice president.
“We also call upon members of the Vice President’s political party or the general public to avoid taking actions or steps that may be perceived to seek to obstruct or impede the course of justice in the matter concerning the allegations of corruption by the Vice President,” reads the statement further.