Sat. Mar 25th, 2023



A high court in Malawi has rejected a bid by the government to uphold the suspension of head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Martha Chizuma.

Ms Chizuma was interdicted on grounds that she was facing criminal charges whereby she is accused of defaming some high-ranking government officials.

The alleged defamatory remarks are contained in a secretly recorded private conversation that she had with a person not employed by her office.

In the recording she purportedly accused some top officials in government and courts of frustrating the fight against corruption.

The recording was made and circulated widely online last year, with Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera saying at the time that he had reprimanded Ms Chizuma for the remarks.

The president however said he would not sack her because he considered the recording and its circulation to be “corruption fighting back”.

The secretary to the president and cabinet, Colleen Zamba, nonetheless interdicted Ms Chizuma late last week, but the directive was set aside by the court on Monday following an application by the Malawi Law Society.

On Tuesday the government filed an urgent application to suspend the order that stopped Ms Chizuma’s interdiction which the court has now rejected.

Early on Wednesday, the US and the UK – two of Malawi’s main donors – expressed “deep concern” with the government’s actions which they said undermined the credibility of the country’s fight against corruption.

Ms Chizuma is seen as a committed anti-corruption crusader.

She has so far indicted the country’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima and several other high-profile individuals over corruption and has hinted there will be even more arrests. The vice-president has denied any wrongdoing.

By Joy

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