Wednesday, July 17, 2024

High Court Faults ACB for slow investigations on Sattar Case

Martha Chizuma

Amidst the cacophony of opinions swirling among Malawians, a faction, albeit a minority, raised concerns regarding the efficacy of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) under the leadership of Martha Chizuma, only to be met with dismissal by the majority. Even as whispers of doubt persisted, bolstered by the notorious audio leak, a segment of the populace remained steadfast in their critique of the director’s competence, while others extended her the benefit of doubt. Yet, despite the passage of time, Malawi finds itself in a disheartening position, devoid of tangible victories to herald as triumphs under Chizuma’s stewardship of the nation’s anti-graft apparatus.

To further underscore the perception that the crusade against corruption met its demise upon Chizuma’s ascension to the helm of the ACB, one need only consider the recent pronouncements of High Court Judge Redson Kapindu amidst the unfolding Zunneth Sattar anti-corruption imbroglio. Herein, Sattar Companies sought judicial intervention to forestall the ACB from renewing a restriction order barring the government from fulfilling contractual obligations with Sattar.

The judge, casting a critical eye upon the ACB’s handling of the affair, lamented the agency’s protracted investigations, decreeing that a timeline be furnished to the Chief Resident Magistrate Court, delineating the agency’s intentions regarding the expeditious conclusion of its inquiries.

“While the purpose of such notices or orders is to prevent the dissipation of assets which may be proceeds of crime, the court below must, in its decisions, enjoin the relevant competent authority to act expeditiously and with transparency in order to ensure that the rights of suspected persons or adversely affected persons are not unduly compromised and, indeed, to allay any perceptions of such compromise.

The point is that the ACB should be seen to do its job and not sleeping on the job because with such remarks from the judge, they show that the ACB is slothful in its operations.

Perhaps things will be corrected as Shire Times has gathered that Martha Chizuma’s contract as ACB Director is fast running out with little chances that she could get it renewed following her dismal performance.





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