MPs push to appoint anti-graft head: Minister Chiumia votes ‘yes and no’

Members of parliament have passed a motion to amend Section 5 (1) of the corrupt practices act that will see the director and deputy director of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) being appointed by the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of parliament based on merit and through an open recruitment process.

Government side defeated in the motion for independence of ACB

Government side defeated in the motion for independence of ACB

Chakwantha : Moved the motion

Chakwantha : Moved the motion

Currently, head of anti-corruption watchdog is appointed by the Head of State and approved by parliament.

Moving a private members motion on Thursday in parliament, Lilongwe South West Constituency, Louis Peter Chankhwantha, said the appointment process should be transparent and that the ACB Czar should be answerable to parliament to avoid political patronage at the helm of fighting corruption.

Joseph Njobvuyalema, MP for Lilongwe Mapuyu south supporting the motion said the current provision where the President appoints ACB boss is a mockery to its independence.

He said the current set up which gives power to the President to appoint and fire ACB director and his Deputy defeats the spirit of  fighting corruption as the holder of  the office at ACB take orders from the president or his loyalists as such their independence is compromised.

“By giving the president absolute powers, it is heavily politicising the office of ACB. The Appointment should not be left in the hands of a politician whose orders are dully influenced by the presidency. T

The ACB is in the office at the pleasure of the President and we cannot continue to act like that on this country,” said Chakawantha.

Chankhwantha then urged the house to amend the Act and give the power to appoint ACB director and its deputy  in the hands of Public Appointments Committee of parliament to be advertise and do employ someone on merit.

He also said the amended act seeks to have the ACB director and deputy director to be reporting to the committee of parliament not to one individual in this case the President.

Minister of Justice and constitutional affasir , Samuel Tembenu said ACB belongs to the Executive arm of government and removing the President’s powers to appoint its director would be “ travesty of the doctrine  of separation [of power].”

He argued that the powers of the President to appoint were entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.

After a heated debate from both sides of the house with government side vehemently speaking against the motion, the house voted.

The government side asked for vote by name calling as they felt the voice group vote they won.

The voting was not without drama as government side that included independent member of parliament all voted in support of the motion with government deputy chief whip, minister of sports , Grace Chiumia voting “yes” before she was booed by her own government colleagues  and she  stood for correction saying it was meant to say “no” to the vote.

Some of the notable members of parliament that voted for the motion included Mzimba Hora member of parliament Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira,  Mzimba South West Harry Mkandawire, Chikhwawa North, Harry Thomson, United Democratic Front member of parliament Lucius Banda and the opposition won with 75 votes , absentees 51 and others who said no plus abstain from voting were totalling at 67 votes.

In his winding up remarks , Chankhwantha who moved the motion thanked members of parliament for discussing the motion and vote in support of it saying it’s about time the country at 52 years of independence should walk the talk and fight corruption without fear or favour  and not the selective prosecution currently taking place.

Chankhwantha said it was disappointing to see some members of parliament voting against the bill just to support certain individuals, their leaders and to serve ministerial positions which is against their conscious.

He said it was worrisome that even other members  from Muslim community in the house were against the motion when their colleague, Issa Njaunju  who worked at ACB was murdered  allegedly by regime thugs in the course of the work .

The motion which has passed now will see legal committee of the house to bring the relevant amended act to other legal entities like Malawi Law Society and others before it is brought to cabinet and passed into law in parliament.

The current (ACB) director is Lucas Kondowe . President Peter Mutharika appointed Kondowe as ACB boss, replacing Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge Rezine Mzikamanda on October 8 2014.

Meanwhile, MP for Nkhatabay central Ralph Mhone, a lawyer by profession, said the next office  that parliament should give independence is that of Auditor General.

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42 thoughts on “MPs push to appoint anti-graft head: Minister Chiumia votes ‘yes and no’”

  1. Dr Haswel P Bandawe says:

    This is a very important step forward. The Anti-Corruption Bureau must be independent and not be an arm of the Executive Branch of Government. It is also hoped that the Parliamentary Committee that will oversee its activities will be bi-partisan.

    It is time we seriously began to strengthen institutions of governance and rule of law instead of personal or political loyalties. The interest of the country must prevail over that of political expediency .

  2. mjiba says:

    Zikomo ma MP povomeleza nkhani imeneyi. Ku ACP kukufunika munthu woti azithana ndi katangale akachitika wodziwa ntchito yazofufuza zamilandu yakuba ndalama komanso ziphuphu osamangoti kudzera kusankhidwa kamba ka zifukwa zina. Bravo.

  3. Njati says:

    Consider security of tenure of office of Commander of MDF next, please

  4. Fabiano says:

    THE PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT HAS MEMBERSHIP FROM ALL POLITICAL PARTIES IN REPRESENTED IN PARLIAMENT. SO THIS IS IN ORDER!!!

  5. Mcwynn Mombetsa says:

    point of order Mr speaker Sir, Yes mmmmmmm No, I meant to say No, amaona ngati ali Ku netball court kusewera fulaye he he! a minister.

  6. Achi says:

    Bravo MPs. Govt side dont feel defeated. If I were u I wud cerebrate together with the opposition now that its democracy that has.won.

    Peter, mu mtimamo bwa????

  7. happy says:

    As long as ACB is under any other arm of the government, whether executive or parliament or judiciary, it will never be independent. I am yet to be schooled where this independence is coming from. Being under Chakwantha and Msowoya is not different from being under Mutharika and the executive.

  8. lipenga says:

    please members of opposition when are going to start the process of mending the electoral Law ? we 50%+ for one to be declared a President in Malawi

  9. kodi says:

    Ooooh Kodi mchifukwa chake mukufuna kumanga Chakhwantha kuti zoterezi asamapangire dziko ili eti. koma mbamva za dpp kutereku Chakhwantha mukufuna muphenso?

  10. Mphepo Zinai says:

    Why should we have old leaders who just doze and yawn, propped us by a bunch of merciless mafiosos. Malawi needs enegetic leaders age range 40 to 65 basi.

    We also need a weak presidency to avoid this dictatorship by an individual.

  11. Papa says:

    Is this a parliament or Mphala ya mafumu. what are the old gurus doing in front seats? oooh offering wisdom to youngsters.

  12. ppp says:

    is this a prliament or Mphala ya mafumu. what are those old people doing? grooming the new guys!!!!

  13. bambo says:

    In first place who introduce this law, its you mcp and you want to change becz you are out of gvmt. So what about if bouse back into gvmt?.

  14. His Excellence the Life President Wolemekedzeka Mkango Lion Chivomerezi Chisokonezo Artillery ArchMissile Manthakanjenjemereza says:

    Amend Public Audit Act, we need auditors who guard our budget to be more independent. Otherwise cash gate siyizatha. Bravo MPs

  15. mtochi says:

    Thumps up Lucius Banda for your sensible voting.Other MPs are just Peter’s puppet s shame.

  16. Dule says:

    Iwe Chambe ukuona ngati achewa angadzapangenso zopusa za 2009 zija pamene amudziwa mlomwe kuti pokoma adataila galu?
    MCP fire 2019

  17. Lu Lu Nginde says:

    BRAVO OPPOSITION,
    You carry my vote in 2019

  18. Ndakunyadirani pazomwe mwachita maulemu anu amene mwavoter,

  19. nyamayasauka says:

    Grace munthu wanzeru kwambiri. Yes was just enough indeed. Thank you very much, chiumia. You are at the welfare of your pipo. Enawa akuona ngati udapoila koma mmmmm well done.

  20. Mlangeni says:

    Zikomo kwabasi bwana chankwatha, ulemu upite kwa bwana Lucius banda, ulemu upitenso kwa Rt Hon msowoya and munthu wamkulu mmalawi yonse Rt Hon bwana Chakwera

  21. Buyelekhaya says:

    @Chambe, a majority of MPs in 2019? That could be possible becuase of the gullibility of some people in this country. That gullibility has played a key part in having accidental presidents!

  22. Bravo says:

    Wawa Chakhwantha. This is what we need.

  23. Peter Mthiburo says:

    Now there is some hope in our MPs. If we can go on like this we can impeach Mathanyura.

  24. JETLI says:

    Thats Parliament we all wanted….keep it up Guys ….Let every Thief face the Music not just using ACB as Oppossiton oppressor

  25. chona says:

    Well done MPs. Komano if you are doing this mwachipsyera mtima sizikuthandizani coz the same person you think you are sabotaging will sabotage you by not signing your approvals. Plain and simple. So be careful what you pass there. Point plain, he can override your decisions and embarrass your efforts.

  26. trouble says:

    BRAVO OUR MPS THAT MOVE, HOWEVER, THE CHAIR FOR PAC MUST ALWAYS COME FROM THE OPPOSITION SIDE, WETHER THE GOVT SIDE IS IN MAJORITY OR NOT OTHERWISE THE ACB WORK WILL STILL BE COMPROMISED.

  27. Chambe says:

    In the contradiction to constitution for the travesty of the doctrine of separation of power as raised by the Minister of Justice, expect this to rescinded in 2019 just as good as JB rescinded all bills and laws that were passed in 2011 by DPP.
    DPP will have majority in parliament by then.

  28. frank says:

    That’s a good move. Bravo to those who voted for !

  29. The Analyst says:

    This is good move. That’s the role of the opposition. Those who voted against the bill shame on them. These fools only care about their stomach. A big shame.

  30. JAM JAM says:

    UKU NDIKO KUGWIRA NTCHITO!KEEP IT UP OUR MPS

  31. Kamuzu says:

    Also consider of terms of office for the MPs, some of them are like life MPs. The nation cannot develop with the very same people who only changes bench from opposition side to government side. When things are hot there you will see them running to another political party. They talk of government failure to develop the nation but check what they have done in their constituences. Totally nothing. These old people have run out of ideas. Let us give them time limits so that after sometime people can see some changes in development. Not change in political parties.

  32. Vincent says:

    Thank you so much our Honorable MPs, I humbly salute you!

  33. Baba Maduapera says:

    This is a brave and excellent contribution by Hon. Chakhwantha and colleagues in opposition. Keep the fire burning!!!

  34. BOKHO says:

    So Peter and Kachama arrested Peter Chakwantha in order to prevent him from moving this important motion. MCP is the only hope to turn this country around. Go go go Chakhwantha we need all these thieves to be arrested and amend the Auditor General’s act as well. We want to know where is 577 billion kwacha. These Moslems brothers are just carried by DPP they will need you shortly.

  35. Buyelekhaya says:

    Ikabwera bilo ya ‘Access to Information” imeneyi muyibwenze basi kuti akabwezeremo zimene achotsa. Mukuyitha aphungu nonse amaene mwavotera kuti gawo lalamulo lisinthidwe. Akakhala omwe amakanawo tikudziwa kuti chingwe chiri mkhosi ndiye amayenera kudzipulumutsa.

  36. WA NOMA says:

    welcome all patriotic MPs who fought for a good cause .we really need independence of some agencies net should be NIB

  37. thinktankmalawi says:

    Leave age limit alone…..even in USA right now some candidates in their late sixties and seventies are running for prez..the economic woes we are in age is not to blame.look at the average age cashgaters answering charges….look at their age….not old….age has nothing to do with poor governance

  38. chelinje says:

    You are just great our MPS and I enjoyed the deliberation. I will join you 2019 to effect more changes. Show these nunkha dalas that you are there for bussiness.

  39. thinktankmalawi says:

    This is good development…too much appointing powers vested on prez defeats the spirit democracy…ACB boss should serve at pleasure of malawians not prez

  40. TSETSEFLY says:

    I think Malawi Parliament is coming of age. It is an institution you can trust. How I wish they work very had so much so that by 2019 the country’s graft fighting institutions do not have any strings attched to any individuals in this country. So I say big up to our MPs.

  41. Gerald mapanga phiri says:

    At least may be now there’s hope. It supposed to be done long time ago but it was just because the country ruled by thieves. No we are waiting for auditor general office

  42. YOWERI MAGUFULI says:

    WELL DONE ALL MP’S WHO SUPPORTED THE MOTION, PUSH CABINET AND SCRUTISE THE ACT SO THAT IT’S IN TANDEM WITH YOUR WILL. ADDING TO YOUR LIST AND THAT OF MHONE’S IS THE PRESIDENTIAL AGE LIMITS, THE LOCAL GOVT ACT (ON ELEVATION AND STATUS OF CHIEFS-just have to away with these political yes bwanas) AND THE ELECTIONS ACT. WE’VE TO TRIM THE ‘MALAWI PRESIDENT’ TO SIZE (ANYONE HOLDING THIS OFFICE) IF WE’RE TO DEVELOP SO THAT THEY REALISE THAT THEY’RE ANSWERABLE TO MALAWIANS AND THIS SHOULD APPLY TO THE CURRENT HOLDER. WELL DONE ONCE AGAIN!!!

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