Anti Corruption Bureau director, Martha Chizuma, is likely to get arrested for contravening her own oath of secrecy as per Corrupt Practices (Oath of Secrecy) Regulations. This follows a leaked phone call in which she is heard sharing secrets and insights with commoners who have no bearing to investigations being undertaken by the bureau.
In a pure gossip episode with a male friend on the other end of the line, Chizuma is heard openly sharing delicate insights of ongoing investigations and how she plans to tackle them.
According to the Corrupt Practice (Oath of Secrecy) Regulations, any officer who reveals any information shall face the long arm of the law.
“Any officer or consultant in the service of the Bureau who (a)except as a witness in any count or in pursuance of his duties directly or indirectly reveals to any unauthorized person or otherwise the contents of any document, communication or information whatsoever which has come to his knowledge in the course of his duties as such officer or consultant; (b)makes use for his own purposes, any knowledge acquired from such document, communication or information, shall be guilty of an offence and liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding K50,000.00 and to a term of imprisonment of five years,” reads Section 4 of the regulations.
Besides revealing information to her friend, Chizuma is also heard confessing that she also shares details of investigations with France-based social media influencer, Stanley Onjezani Kenani.
Kenani has been an advocate of Chizuma on social media. The leaked phone call only confirms where he has been getting information all this time.
The phone call – believed to have been recorded by the other interlocutor – also exposes Chizuma’s lack of respect for Malawian judges labelling them corrupt and reliant on bribes.
Her attack on the learned judges comes as a direct reference to a recent episode where High Court Judge, Simeon Mdeza, released Ashok Nair who is an agent of embattled businessman Zuneith Sattar.
Ashok was released weeks ago when the High Court faulted the arrest of Lands Minister, Kezzie Msukwa, who is alleged to have had links with the former in fraudulent land deals.
Chizuma is heard repeatedly claiming that Sattar has invested $10 million to bribe anyone who wants to stand in the way.
From the phone recording (attached below) it is clear that Chizuma has chosen to fight corruption by sidelining key stakeholders who matter in issuing consent and prosecution. She openly despises the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecution as offices that are frustrating her drive.
Interestingly, one of the reasons Judge Mdeza gave for releasing Ashok Nair and stopping the arrest of Kezzie Msukwa was because ACB acted without notifying the office of the Attorney General.
Her lack of respect for the two important offices is what is derailing smooth coordination in the fight against corruption. These are offices that will have to offer legal support and aid her attain desirable results in form of convictions in the court of law.
Lately, there have been growing sentiments within the legal fraternity that Chizuma, despite her celebrity status on social media – does not have a compelling track record of courtroom competence. She has no prominent victories for any client before any judge or magistrate.
The phone conversation also reveals her intentions to use social media influencers and the faith community to fight her battles.
Ironically she is heard casting doubt on whether she can fully rely on Pentecostals and Catholics for a mere fact that the State President and State Vice President are communicant members respectively.
The 12 minute 34 seconds call finally vindicates those who have questioned Martha Chizuma’s ineffectiveness as ACB director both in terms of integrity and legal competence.