When the hunter is hunted: Muckracking on Malawi assets director’s arrest

Since Christopher Tukula is yet to be paraded before the courts (at least as I write this) I think the muckraking community should not be scared by the sub judice scare-crow but question – even laugh at – his arrest.

Tukula

Tukula

Look, to borrow the lawyerly verbose, I think the arrest Friday evening of the Assets Director is ‘frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process’.

The ACB says Tukula was interfering with the ‘cashgate’ investigations. And you know how Tukula was “interfering” with the ‘cashgate’ investigation? By instructing his clients how to respond to questions by the ACB!

C’mon, good people, that is why we pay an arm and a leg to lawyers; we hire them to guide us how to answer certain questions, even to keep mum if our answers may incriminate us.

For example, Cashgatress Theresa Senzani was instructed by her lawyers to plead guilty because it was the learned counsel’s considered view that that stance was in her best interests. And, by Jove, she got a light sentence courtesy of ‘not wasting courts’ time’.

Now can ACB accuse Necton Mhura of ‘interfering with investigations’ for instructing Senzani to plead guilty?

By the way, Tukula was implicated by a client. What does that put the trust lawyers have with their clients? Are exchanges between lawyers and clients not supposed to be privileged information? Or excitement to be seen to be doing something about ‘cashgate’ should not make us lose our sanity.

But then anything can happen in Malawi. Maybe I am being naïve to suggest that the ACB is being pedestrian for effecting this needless arrest which will, at the end of the day, just inconvenience Tukula but will eventually amount to nothing.

Maybe we should look at the bigger picture. Remember Tukula is Declaration of Assets Director, the first one for that matter. His arrest, therefore, puts in limbo the future of the newly-established office. As the first Director of Assets Declaration office his core job was supposed to establish the office, recruit staff and start receiving the declared assets for the public to scrutinise on demand.

Now remember the idea behind the declaration of assets by elected or appointed officers is to check whether whatever assets they acquire while in office is commensurate to the perks of their offices.

Maybe someone, somewhere, is uncomfortable with this office and wants to delay its actualisation further. By arresting the Director and slapping him with any funny charges they can dream of, however silly they may be, they will have succeeded in delaying the establishment of the office.

Court cases, even stupid ones, take long. Already the 90 days (three months) by which our elected or appointed officers have to declare their assets is long past. But, with Tukula’s arrest, we are back to Square One; we have no Assets Director.

And so someone may claim they declared their assets but, since there is no substantive Assets Director, you and I may not be privy to those declared assets and may not have any way of inspecting – and questioning – the same.

By the time Tukula will be discharged as having no case, his image will be so battered he may not be able to hold the office. We will, therefore, go back to Parliament to give us another Director – a process that may take more years. By the time we come round to identifying another Director of Assets Declaration we will be in the thick of the next election circle to worry about how much someone is enriching themselves.

And so we will be back from whence we begun. That is Malawi for you where things refuse to move or improve.

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The Patriot
Guest

Its all about the Assets Declarations, nothing else! But as they say, “you can fool some people some of the time BUT YOU CANNOT fool all the people ALL THE TIME”. No matter how long this process takes, we will know how much our leaders are worth, and any suspected ill gotten wealth will be investigated!

Matatizo
Guest

Ralphael why hate the munthalikas anakulakwira chani bwanji ndapepesele mmalo mw awo pepani bwana

Kenkkk
Guest
ACB and the intelligence branch or service should have provided PAC with enough information on each candidate before they were interviewed by Pac. If pac had all this information before hand, they could not have picked tukula. In a way ACB is correcting its own mistake for not advising pac properly on the candidates. Pac cannot be blamed for this as some people are suggesting. I would advise pac that next time you should consult ACB and the intelligence service so that you have enough information on any candidate you interview. It is no good one arm of the govt… Read more »
Bantu
Guest

Tenthani asks some valid questions, but he did not need to hastily speculate, let alone conclude, that there is a conspiracy against Tukula. Pertinently, it would have been prudent to gather facts from the ACB and offer a balanced story.

chatonda
Guest

Chris Tukula is innocent,his arrest is just to allow thieves continue stealing public money and resources

chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa
Guest
chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa

Actually if he has been advising cash gate clients then there is conflict of interest here. He is not fit for the post. Please lets face facts.

Shaha
Guest
The problem is that Ralph Tenthani writes based on his hatred of the Mutharikas. But look, it was Parliament which employed Tukula and his deputy is Michael Chiusiwa. The Government system on asset declaration cannot stop because of one person. Sorry Ralph Tenthani you can hate Peter but please be sincere and truthful. You hatred is driving you nuts. You are misleading people. On another note I don’t know how Malawi will fight corruption if we keep on backing the accused people like this. We are a sad country who sympathise with cashgaters. By the way mwati lawyer wa Tukula… Read more »
Cashgate 1
Guest

I was about to ask something similar to what has been raised in this your comment. Does it mean Tukula has no deputy to continue running the operations? If he does then its something not to worry unless politics is playing a greater role. Yet to see how things will unfold. Komanso analysis yaolemba/atolankhani enanu leaves a lot to gaps and unanswered questions.

Uchitsiru Sasekana
Guest

So are you saying this is a deliberate move by some top government officials
Come out clearly please it seems like you know more than speculated

Mfwethu
Guest
If this is the calibre of people we want to employ in our civil service then am afraid the fight on corruption is a lost cause already. This man is not fit for the directorship of the office he has been entrusted with, PAC should meet asap and reverse their decision. It doesn’t matter that he has not yet been convicted but his dealings smacks of double standards, maybe he deliberately extended the assets declaration date so that he gives opportunity to the people he was advising to hide their properties, he is a crook this man. His association with… Read more »
Bob Phiri
Guest

The author has totally missed the point. Wasting our time reading this nonsense

wpDiscuz

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