Chakwera rues rejection of Malawi’s anti-graft body independence bill

A  Private Member’s Bill that sought to trim presidential powers in the appointment of Malawi’s anti-corruption body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), top brass was defeated on Thursday mainly by MPs from government benches.

Chakwera: Blow to democrcay

Chakwera: Blow to democrcay

Lilongwe South-West member of Parliament (MP) Peter Chakhwantha (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) tabled a Private Member’s Bill that seeks to trim presidential powers in the appointment of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) top brass.

The bill sought amendment of sections 5 and 7 of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) to enhance the independence of the operations of the ACB.

It proposed that Section 5 (1) of the CPA which reads that “the President shall, on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit, appoint the director” should be deleted and be replaced with “the director shall be appointed by the Public Appointments Committee on such conditions as the committee shall think fit”.

Chakhwantha also proposed an additional Section 5(3) which outlines that the director of ACB would be appointed after the committee calls for nominations from the public through an advert placed by the Clerk of Parliament.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu argued  that powers of the President to appoint were entrenched in the Constitution and the Public Appointments Committee to provide checks and balances in the work of ACB.

But Dedza East parliamentarian Juliana Lunguzi wondered why government is afraid to let the office of ACB be independent and do their work without interference.

“Mr deputy speaker sir, let me make my point straight that this bill is good if we indeed what we preach as reforms are anything to go by.  I’m at pains to see some of members in this House from that side (government)  turning down this bill , what are they afraid  of?

“ I’m speaking here on behalf of my fellow youths who are in majority , I’m also speaking here on behalf of my fellow women who are in majority , this bill seeks to protect them from corruption that rich people in minority deliberately do by stealing the money.

“Let me tell you I know some of you here your old and you already done your future and we’re here to make future of those youths , those children of yours who they might not even know that their parent was an MP when your gone , some of you  can die today and we’re doing these for mother Malawi in future. We need ACB to be independent.”

Peoples Party (PP) parliamentarian for Zomba Malosa,  Roy Akajuwe Banda  questioned why the DPP government is against the Bill when in its manifesto for 2014 elections it clearly said and he quoted: “The DPP government will reduce concentration of power in the presidency. Appointment and removal of the Governor of the RBM, Director of the ACB, the Audit General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Clerk of Parliament, Malawi Human Rights Commission Executive Secretary, the Malawi Law Commissioner, the Director General of the MBC, MACRA Director General, and the leaders of other accountability institutions shall be appointed on merit  through a Special Public Appointments Committee. The DPP government will pursue Zero Tolerance on Corruption, Bribery, Fraud and Theft of government resources.”

But the DPP government led government with alliance from United Democratic Front and some independent members of parliament led by Lilongwe city Centre parliamentarian David Bisnowaty turned down the bill through division vote with 82 votes and opposition got 75 votes.

In his immediate reaction following the turn down of the bill, leader of opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera said it was sad that Malawians have been let down by “few greedy and overzealous “members of parliament.

“It is a sad day for this nation.  The ones who campaigned for the reforms now are disowning the reforms and their own manifestos , changing like chameleons, we will still fight for the poor to ensure its poor Malawians who wins,” Chakwera said.

He said the rejection of the bill is terrible blow to democracy and its essential tenents of transparenct and accountability.

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Chambe
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Chambe
6 months 9 days ago

That’s the problem of having a mentality that Independent MPs form part of the opposition. The actual opposition MPs have no outright number to defeat the government MPs on voting and they relied on these Independent MPs in their past victories.
Independent MP have decided to vote otherwise and what makes Lazarus believe that they have been bribed as others believe?

blessings
Guest
6 months 9 days ago

zovuta kumvetsa. All in all is about protecting personal interests. zofunika mavigils basi.

Vincent K
Guest
Vincent K
6 months 9 days ago

I don’t know who’s better than the other. Maybe these people are the same, “Gold diggers”.

maseko
Guest
maseko
6 months 10 days ago

Malawi at its peak

wisdom
Guest
wisdom
6 months 10 days ago
Fellow Malawians, This is why we need the Information Bill because it will tell us in future when some of these corrupt and untrustworthy MPs come back to us asking us to vote for them because they will fight corruption. They had a chance to demonstrate how serious they are in fighting corruption and they have miserably failed. In fact they have betrayed the national trust. If Malawians don’t take this seriously, then either we are ignorant or are deliberately burying our heads in the sand. Let us as private citizens and the media remember the names of these MPs… Read more »
Phwisa
Guest
Phwisa
6 months 10 days ago

Chakwera is yet to learn politics. All what he is doing will end. Tembo is a very experienced politician but for over 20 his party never saw anything wrong with the ACB law. Why today. Osadzalira when this backfires. Ndi bomatu ili

Zee
Guest
Zee
6 months 10 days ago

chakwera are you calling the people from the constituencies where the 82 PMs come , “few greedy and overzealous ” this is a majority decision of parliament and who are you to say these are greedy people? You must learn to respect the dictates of democracy.

Peter Mathanyula
Guest
6 months 10 days ago

UDF DPP mbava zokha zokha kuikirana kumbuyo. These people are in gvt not for mother MW but for their own bellies. Stupid people.

nkhanga zaona
Guest
nkhanga zaona
6 months 10 days ago

I FOR ONE WILL NOT BUY THE IDEA OF REFORMS. I WILL CONTINUE DOING THE BUSINESS USUAL APPROACH TO MY WORK. FINISH!

ANY SERIOUS LEADER CAN NOT REFUSE SHEDDING OFF POWER ON THIS ISSUE. WHAT PETER HAS DONE IS TO ALLOW HIS BOYS TO LOOT IN GOVERNMENT AND CONDONE CORRUPTION.

AS FOR DONORS, DONT EVER GIVE THIS STUPID GOVERNMENT ANY MONEY. THEY ARE NOT SERIOUS TO FIGHT CORRUPTION.

PETER IS ON RECORD PLEADING WITH VOTERS TO VOTE FOR HIM PROMISING HE WILL REDUCE PRESIDENTIAL POWERS. SINCE HE WAS ELECTED, WHICH POWERS HAVE BEEN REDUCED FROM HIM?????

Nyauhango Nyandlobvu
Guest
Nyauhango Nyandlobvu
6 months 10 days ago

I am MCP. However, I think Chakwera and team are refusing to work. Look! The difference between the votes is very small. Let Chakwera talk to PP. They should retable the Bill in the next sitting of Parliament. But between now and then, they should work on lobbying some MPs (especially independents and those who were absent) so that the numbers are on their side.

Ku anzathukutu kumakhala serious work. For a Bill to work, it requires a lot of work. Osati zaulesizi, ayi.

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