The Commission of Inquiry to investigate the arrest of Martha Chizuma was sworn-in over the weekend at Kamuzu Place. One thing to pick out from President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s remarks during the ceremony is that Malawians demand to know what really happened and in what manner was the ACB director whisked away from her sleep on Tuesday of the week gone by.
In a clear and audible tone which sounded so affirmative President Chakwera instructed the all-inclusive and non-partisan Commission of Inquiry to work within the specified period.
Speaking during the swearing-in of the Justice Edward Twea-led Commission President Chakwera said due to the seriousness of the matter, the Commission’s work started immediately and the team had no luxury of time if they are to meet or beat the 14-day deadline.
As if to say that if you snooze you lose, President Chakwera emphatically said he did his part to assemble an independent team whose diverse composition will not compromise its findings in any way.
“I want you to remember that you do not have all the time in the world to complete this task, and that I have done my best to make sure the composition of the Commission is such that it is fully independent, so as to free you to work without fear or favour.”
But this is not only the take home message from President Chakwera’s remarks, the Malawi leader indicated that he is charting a new path of business unusual where he wants to depart from norms of the past where when Commissions of Inquiry were instituted but its findings were kept under wraps and recommendations were neither taken on board nor implemented.
On this note President Chakwera vowed that he will see to it that there are tangible results on this particular inquest so that it serves its purpose.
“The lack of tangible results from these Commissions of Inquiry have damaged public trust in public institutions, and we have opportunity here to correct that anomaly’’
Coincidentally, President Chakwera’s remarks comes barely a day after he spoke glowingly of Chizuma at the Anti-Corruption Day which took place at Kasungu ground in the district where he described the ACB boss as a dedicated general in the battle against graft.
President Chakwera’s sentiment will be seen as the vote of confidence for the embattled leader of ACB who admitted at the Anti-Corruption Day that apart from the police breaking into her compound, she has seen the worst in her one year at the helm of the graft bursting body.
But here is the thing, President Chakwera’s move to institute the Commission of Inquiry into the matter serves two purposes, the first one being that he is extremely concerned on the regrettable scenes which happened on that Tuesday morning.
Secondly, by stating that there is an opportunity to correct the anomalies of the past by acting on the findings of the inquiry in two weeks’ time, the Malawi leader is setting the tone which will define the future handling of these inquiries forever.
The tone is set, it’s up to the Commission to deliver.