President Chakwera on Monday night pulled Anti Corruption Bureau director, Martha Chizuma, out of the dungeon of self-shame when he decreed that she maintains her position at the bureau despite flouting the oath of secrecy she made when she took office.
In a national address monitored on all key TV and radio stations, the President informed the nation that he had spent the whole day in a meeting with Chizuma and Minister of Justice, Titus Mvalo where she confirmed being part of the leaked phone call and accepted wrong doing.
The trending phone call had Chizuma an unknown male friend discussing intricate issues around investigations at ACB and her thoughts about the Judiciary, the Executive, churches and civil society. ACB regulations and her oath of secrecy do not allow her to divulge information to stakeholders that are not mandated by law to receive such information.
In a true fatherly spirit, the President went on to forgive Chizuma while giving her a stern warning.
“Now since the conduct of any ACB Director is regulated by law, there are several legal minds who have told me that the audio recording contains information justifying Ms. Chizuma’s removal as Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau. But upon consideration of multiple factors, I have determined that the best thing to do in this instance is to keep a watchful eye on her general conduct of the Bureau’s affairs in order to ensure that there are no other incidents of concern about her fitness for office going forward,” said President Chakwera.
The Malawi leader reiterated his initial justifications used to pick Chizuma as leader in the fight against graft.
“I appointed her because I considered her to be a person of great courage, the kind of courage needed to take on dangerous cartels of corruption that have milked our country dry for decades, including foreign ones that donate to us the crumbs leftover from the bread they steal from us.”
He also reprimanded those who recorded and shared Chizuma’s phone call labelling them as evil forces.
“I therefore want those evil forces that recorded her to know that neither I nor Ms. Chizuma are moved by their efforts to derail my agenda to rid Malawi of corruption,” the President said.
Malawians from all walks of life have praised President Chakwera for taking such a rare stance at a time many expected him to fire the embattled ACB boss.
In addition to Chizuma’s issue, the President also dissolved his whole cabinet and promised to form a new one by Wednesday. The new cabinet will exclude former Minister of Lands, Kezzie Msukwa, who is currently on ACB radar and is currently moving courts to seeking legal redress on corruption charges.