The National Alliance against Corruption has called for the removal of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) from the ambit of the Executive arm of government to ensure it discharges its mandate with complete independence, effectiveness and efficiency.
Briefing journalists after meeting the ACB director general Reyneck Matemba in Lilongwe on Monday, the alliance’s executive member, Charles Kajoloweka, observed that the work of Bureau has generally been compromised due to the political influence from the President who heads the Executive.
Kajoloweka therefore proposed that members of Parliament (MPs) and other relevant authorities to take steps that will help in giving ACB full autonomy.
“We also want the mandate of ACB to be restricted to crime detection and investigation while other agencies should be handling prosecution. That’s the practice in other countries. We can’t burden ACB with all those tasks yet it is under-resourced to discharge its duties,” he said.
Kajoloweka further stated that the alliance has resolved to collaborate with ACB in a campaign aimed to recover public resources from people that looted from the government during the previous administration.
“We need our resources back as a people of Malawi. We need those resources to be redirected to the improvement of the public service delivery,” he said.
However, Kajoloweka admitted that this would require that relevant legislation should be put in place to facilitate recovery of the stolen property.
The alliance’s chairperson, Moses Mkandawire, said the current setup where ACB has to seek approval from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is another legal impediment to the work of the Bureau.
Mkandawire disclosed that they will soon be engaging relevant institutions, including the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, to facilitate amendment of the laws to allow for the detachment of ACB from other government structures in its work.
“The proposal that is coming through is that the government should establish a separate National Prosecution Authority and leave ACB do the other tasks. All in all, during their meeting with Mr. Matemba, we have agreed to closely work together in the fight against graft. We have also agreed to formalize our working relationship,” he said.