Malawi activists tell new ACB boss: ‘Let there be no selective prosecution on corruption’

Malawi activists have advised the new director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Judge Rezine Mzikamanda to restore public confidence in the bureau and desist from discriminative prosecution.

President Joyce Banda appointed Mzikamanda as ACB director. The President had earlier appointed him Supreme Court judge after serving as High Court judge for several years.

The Parliamentary Public Appointments Committee (PAC) – which rebuffed the appointment of Victor Banda as ACB assistant director- confirmed  Mzikamanda as the head of the graft fighting body to fill the post that has been vacant for about five months after former ACB director Alex Nampota was kicked-out.

Human rights activist  Billy Mayaya told Nyasa Times in an interview that “the new ACB Director must put forward his vision for the institution.”

Mayaya: No selective prosecution

Mayaya, who is a member of rights group Civic and Political Space Platform, said relying on selective prosecution to eliminate corruption is akin to writing on water.

“The ACB has its inception been preoccupied with the selective application of the Corrupt Practices Act and focusing on petty cases and conveniently ignoring the big fish particularly the Executive who plunder the state and accumulate unparalled wealth in public,” he said.

Adding: “These are treated with kid’s gloves and reinforce the belief that the ACB is a white elephant. “

Mayaya said Mzikamanda should borrow a leaf from Kenyan anti-corruption campaigner John Githong, describing him as an “exception in Africa.”

“He run the institution without fear or favour. His tenure was short lived but he proved himself. Similarly, Justice Mzikamanda must aim for such professionalism and aim to leave a mark during his tenure,” said Mayaya.

He also called on ACB to complete a lengthy corruption trial on former president Bakili Muluzi.

Mayaya said on late president Bingu wa Mutharika if there is any cases on graft “must be pursued to their logical conclusion.”

Human rights activist Undule Mwakasungula also called on Mzikamanda to “clear all outstanding corruption cases including Muluzi case to put the matter to rest” saying “tIt’s a torture to him as a human being but also so costly.”

Mwakasungura, who heads Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, urged the ACB director to be independent.

“He must make sure he is not influenced by politicians in dealing with corruption. He should not see faces, colour or status in dealing with the fight against corruption,” said Mwakasungura.

The CHRR boss said he admires Mzikamanda, saying “he is one of few dedicated and principled Malawian”.

Mzikamanda assured that he has set  as his priority to clear  cases that have stagnated.

The ACB boss also said he believes it is important “to ensure that the bureau works impartially and independently.”

“My main priority is the people of Malawi, to serve them diligently and impartially,” he told The Nation.

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