After a whole year of all talk, no action and a lot of drama Anti Corruption Bureau director general Martha Chizuma has been interdicted by her employers over serious misconduct in relation to the infamous phone conversation in which she divulged the bureau’s operational matters last year.
The leaked phone conversation had Chizuma making serious and injurious allegations against former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr. Steven William Kayuni and High Court judge Simeon Mdeza. Both men have since dragged her to court.
It is at the back of her criminal charges that Chizuma has been interdicted up until such a time she is cleared by the courts of law.
Her interdiction comes weeks after Kayuni was fired over her arrest last month.
Her arrest, executed under very odd circumstances, did not please President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera who instituted a Commission of Inquiry to establish the circumstances that led to her arrest.
Although the Commission recommended that an action be taken against for the misconduct in relation to the audio conversation, Chakwera maintained that he would continue standing by her side in her fight against graft.
But the President was quick to emphasize that he had no constitutional right to block those injured through the audio conversation.
And barely days after this declaration, High Court judge Simeon Mdeza dragged Chizuma to court for an alleged criminal offense.
Following the development, Secretary to the President and Cabinet (OPC), Colleen Zamba, has written Chizuma, informing her of the government decision to interdict her.
Zamba says in a letter addressed to Chizuma that her interdiction is with effect from January 31, 2023, and will remain in force until her case is concluded in the courts.
Chizuma is facing two charges in a criminal court case, including making use of speech allegedly capable of lowering the authority of a person before whom a judicial proceeding is being had and making use of speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings.
Zamba states that these accusations are regarded as serious misconduct for a public official and a representative of the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
“In view of this, and in accordance with the Malawi Public Service Commission Regulation 42 (3) as read with Regulation 40, you are interdicted from exercising the powers and functions of your office as Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (Grade 1/C) effective 31 January 2023, with full pay,” says the SPC.
According to Zamba, Chizuma is thus prohibited from performing any duties or exercising any authority in the public sector, and she is not permitted to leave Malawi without the Office of the President and Cabinet’s express written consent.