The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the country’s graft busting body, said on Friday that they are equally concerned with the delay in its former corporate affairs director Issa Njauju murder case which has not yet seen the light of justice.
Njauju was killed on July 4 2015 and his body was found half-buried behind the presidential villas in Lilongwe while his official vehicle was burnt to ashes at Mtsiriza, a peri-urban township west of Area 47 in the capital city.
Following the murder, several donor countries, including the UK, immediately condemned what was deemed a politically motivated killing and rallied behind embattled staff at the ACB.
Motives of the murder remain unknown just as the identities of those behind the heinous crime.
Government has over the years come under intense public pressure to bring to justice those responsible.
Speaking at a news conference in Lilongwe where the Bureau clarified issues surrounding a leaked document that named President Peter Mutharika of dubiously benefiting K145 million from a Malawi police food rations deal, ACB director general, Reyneck Matemba, said it was unfortunate that the public was confusing the two issues.
“The current issue and the murder of Njauju are different. We are still concerned with Issa’s death, and we would want justice to prevail,” said Matemba.
According to Matemba, who pointedly mentioned economist and social commentator Henry Kachaje as someone who misled people with his Facebook post, the “Bureau doesn’t investigate murder.”
He also discouraged the spirit of distorting information saying people should not mix the investigation about the sudden death of Njauju and the leak document investigations because these are too different cases.
“The bureau does not investigate murder cases but the police are the ones who are doing that investigation,” said Matemba.
During the presser, Matemba pledged they would make the findings of the document leakage investigations at the right time according to the law.
While admitting that they were serious cases in the police food ration syndicate, Matemba was mum to name any suspects thus far.
He said, for example, “Mutharika was not yet a suspect” until the end of the investigation.
But human rights activist, Timothy Mtambo, has insisted that the evidence in the leaked document is too overwhelming to commence prosecution of those involved.
“I authorized an investigation on the matter in November last year. But we are concerned that the report was leaked before completing the investigations which exposed names of people that came forward with information which is giving us fear that these people might not come to testify,” Matemba said.
According to Matemba the bureau has received calls from those people giving their concerns after seeing their names exposed which is also giving them a threat if an immediate action is not done.
“These people might decide to sue us if an immediate remedy is not taken according to section 51A of the Corrupt Practices Acts enacted by parliament in 2004. Hence our obligation to protect sources of information,” he said.
Matemba further said the leakage has potentially compromised the likelihood of success in the protection of the case though people are glorifying it reaching to the extent of calling it heroic act or patriotic act which he said is sad.
“It is too premature now to say the people mentioned in the report are suspects or not because that is a function of Legal and prosecution department to weigh the evidence and take action whether one is to be charged or not to be charged,” Matemba said.
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