Member of Parliament for Machinga Likwenu, Bright Msaka, on Thursday faulted the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and its Director General Martha Chizuma for their failure to draw a line between corruption cases and those that fall under other categories.
Speaking Parliament, Msaka took the graft-busting body to task for functioning under a veil of ignorance that has resultantly defeated the purpose of fighting the vice.
“I wonder whether the Anti Corruption Bureau knows what are corruption cases or what are not. For example, the case of former Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni on allowances cannot be termed as a corruption case,” said Msaka to a thunderous clap from fellow legislators.
The Kayuni case that Msaka was referring to emerged late last year when Chizuma wanted to deal with the former DPP on personal basis as the two have been on each other’s neck for a while.
Seasoned civil servants have also weighed in on Kayuni’s allowance case saying it lacks evidence.
“It is normal in government for officers to receive allowances only to have the event they wanted to attend cancelled last minute. It is laughable that Chizuma thought that Kayuni would not return the money. It is sad that she used this to settle personal scores,” says one civil servant who has worked for close to 25 years in the Auditor General’s office.
Chizuma’s loss of direction was mainly necessitated by her bitterness with Kayuni who time and again questioned her methods on a number of investigations she carried at ACB.
On more than one occasion Kayuni faulted Chizuma for presenting to his office preliminary reports as full investigations. In turn she always wanted the Director of Public Prosecutions to provide consent for prosecution to half-baked investigation reports.
With only nine months to finish her three-year contract, it is doubtful if Chizuma will succeed to prosecute all the high profile cases she has started. Most of these cases are at a very preliminary stage with some yet to enter plea.
Legal experts say this kind of delay does not inspire confidence in a body that is supposed to act with speed when it comes to prosecution of cases.