The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director, Martha Chizuma, continues to display lack of understanding of legal precepts within her mandate as ACB director. Since she assumed office in April last year, Chizuma has reportedly been sending half-baked requests to the office of Director of the Public Prosecutions (DPP) seeking consent to proceed with cases.
This exposes her level of incompetence as head of the graft-busting body, a scenario running contrary to how her name was projected at the time of her appointment. For nine months now she has failed to understand and operate within the legal framework guiding the execution of her duties.
Malawi Gazette, another online publication in Malawi, has reported seeing a request for consent from the ACB Director to the office of Director of Public Prosecution which was denied for being incomplete and not scaling to the standard.
In a response to Chizuma on January 14, 2022, the DPP, Steven Kayuni, faulted the ACB director for bringing to his office inconclusive material which cannot proceed to prosecution.
Chizuma had only submitted an Interim Investigation Report in seeking consent to arrest and prosecute Ashok Nair who is Zuneith Sattar’s agent, Director at the Ministry of Energy Cassius Chiwambo and others.
The DPP expressed shock at how incomplete Chizuma’s request was yet she has proceeded to treat it as her final submission. According to Kayuni’s concerns, such evidence can only afford embarrassment on the part of the State at prosecution.
“It is actually surprising to note that there are findings and recommendations on an interim investigation report. One wonders what will be the findings and recommendations on the completed investigations,” queried Kayuni.
As a remedy to her alleged half-baked efforts, the DPP advised Chizuma to re-submit but with all relevant information if she wanted to be granted consent.
“We thus advise that either your good office furnishes us with a completed investigation report or as an alternative consider advising us with evidence,” wrote Kayuni in his response to Chizuma.
The documents Kayuni was referring to be included are a complete Investigations Report, Legal Opinion, Proposed Charges and Consent form. According to him, these documents are crucial in independent analysis of the evidence and the law.
The DPP further advised the ACB director not to take granting of consent simply as an academic exercise or expect endorsements from his office on ‘inadequate supplications’.
Despite her celebrity status on social media, Chizuma has found the going tough in the courtroom mainly because of her legal unpreparedness and Shire Times understands that there is no identifiable case that the ACB has won in court since her leadership.
Just few weeks ago the High Court released Ashok Nair from detention and among the reasons was the cutting corners by Chizuma in using evidence obtained illegally from foreign elements to arrest people .
This story was first published on Malawi Gazette and Shire Times has complied with reserved rights to re-publish the same.