Analysts further weigh in on leaked Malawi police food scandal report

Governance expert and a social commentator have faulted the country’s graft busting body— Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB)  — of focusing in investigating  the source of  leaked document summarizing serious fraud and corruption involving the police, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and a businessman Zameer Karim instead of  focusing on prosecuting suspected wrong doers in the matter.

Makhumbo Munthali:  ACB has wrong priorities

Nassah: Someone is smart to keep this matter a running story

ACB said it has hired a South African expert with a lie detector to investigate who leaked the document, among many that have found its way out from the bureau.

However, governance expert Makhumbo Munthali said the actions of ACB indicate that  they are facing extreme pressure from the corridors of power.

“The whole saga only points to the possibility that ACB is under undue pressure from an underlying executive hand who are too bitter at the revelation of this leaked report,” Munthali told Nyasa Times

“However, one wonders how ACB sets its priorities. While it is important for the Bureau to know the identity of the one who leaked the so-called ‘preliminary report’  just for professional purposes, it defies logic and common sense for the Bureau to prioritise that at the expense of conclusion into the investigations into this police gate where the President is allegedly implicated,” he said.

According to the governance expert, by calling for an external investigator  over the leaked document the Bureau is indirectly communicating to the public that what it had labelled as a preliminary report may in fact be a final report hence the anger and bitterness against the “leaker” of the dossier.

“ACB report raises ethical dilemma. While on one hand it is true that releasing a public document prematurely or that which is not supposed to release may be illegal and that whoever does that must face serious disciplinary sanctions, on the other hand releasing information which would be in the public interest may be justifiable,” he said.

“If the motive of the person who leaked the ACB report was right after realising that by virtue of implicating the President the report would not be acted on by the Bureau in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecution, then the leaker would be ethically justified despite contravening the Law or the oath he or she swore.

“Even if the leaker of the report had bad motives of leaking the report after realising it had implicated the President hence wanting to embarass him, as long as the leaked report is true and in the public interest in as far as holding the President accountable is concerned then that person may be justifiable too ethically despite contravening his or her oath,” he added.

Taking it to social media, Idriss Ali Nassah a fierce social and political commentator,  said whoever advised the ACB to hire South Africans to investigate the leak into the matter  where Mutharika and his DPP were beneficiaries of a dirty deal of food rations at the Malawi Police Service, is smart.

“By this very action three things are bound to happen: The matter of the K145 million will not die. President Peter Mutharika’s name will keep being mentioned in connection with this brazen theft of public money.

“ Knowing fully well that public outrage is not  about who leaked the report but about who stole the money, this move to investigate the leak is designed to further outrage Malawians.

“The South Africans’ investigation into the leak will ultimately be ‘inconclusive’  but that is yet another way to keep the story alive and in the public domain,” he pointed out.

A  constitutional law commentator Professor Danwood Chirwa  has said that  given the case implicates the highest office, ACB director’s “obfuscation” must be seen as ploy to escape from personal political pressure, which the office must never experience in any case.

“We know that the ACB has compiled many dockets detailing corrupts deeds of many very senior politicians but it has not prosecuted them due to political interference. This is not what the ACB was set up to do. It’s a waste of resources to investigate cases and never to prosecute. It must be independent and prosecute cases without fear or favour,” he said.

Chirwa has said the leak must be welcomed for the reason that the case was not going to be brought to court.

“Now at least people know how their country is being plundered. Not that this is surprising. But knowing that there is evidence for the suspicions people have is edifying and gives hope that there could be some accountability, political or legal,” he said.

The legal expert recommended that ACB must arrest those implicated who have no immunity  –  Karim and Malawi Police  director of finance Innocent Bottoman  – without delay and parliament must institute impeachment proceedings against the President.

Vice-President Saulos Chilima has called for the amendment of a constitutional provision that shields a sitting President from criminal prosecution, saying it gives the presidency licence to commit corrupt crimes.

A leaked ACB investigation report showed that DPP received K145 million from a supplier through a Standard Bank account whose sole signatory is Mutharika.

Initially, the presidency dismissed the matter as “fake news” but  State House later confirmed the transaction and the account, but said there was nothing sinister as it was a donation from a well-wisher.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Sugzo
Guest
Sugzo

Of course its standard practice that you want to identify the leaker of any company/ organisation information. Every country be it the west, asia, latin America or indeed Africa will hunt down employees who leak company documents. Whether the “leaker” is guilty or not its for the courts to determine.

Most Malawian so called political analysts know nothing about how African Governments operate in reality. Its a complex web made up of crooks who hide behind quest to develop the country when actually their aim is to plunder. Would Chilima, Chakwera and Muluzi be different? I doubt.

Phiri
Guest
Phiri

It is a known fact that director of ACB is just spending tax payers money for no work at all. He better resign.

Ndangodutsamo
Guest

Come to think of this ifeyo oberedwafe are paying for munthu to hunt down
amene anatidziwitsi kuti taberedwa. Does this make sense
Instead of focusing pa akubawo achina Peter Muntharikawo, the government is hunting down mnasi amene watsina nkhutu.
Zodabwitsa kwambiri.
This is taking Us Malawians for granted sure.

Dukutu
Guest
Dukutu

i agree with you, lets the woman/man who leaked this report in one way or the other

Dagobert
Guest
Dagobert

How dare are you ACB, just give the whole investigaion into Policegate away to foreigners! Imagine this is one case of many similar who got leaked.
This whistle blower is a hero and needs protection not prosecution!

Mphwache
Guest
Mphwache

They are looking in the wrong direction. Since Independence, till about 4 years ago, the Police never bought rations for their men. If the policemen were on outside duties they received allowances with which they bought food of their own choice: soft drinks, thobwa, mandasi,etc. In the process they contributed to the economy of Malawi. Now, in the promotion of corruption, they decided to give them rations (from India and pakistan), and there by spend MK2.8 billion on silly food imports. Most policemen complain on the composition of these rations (chocolate, fish, and some other things they don’t even know)… Read more »

Wodya zake
Guest
Wodya zake

Us Malawians we talk too much and no action. We have these political analysts and facebook commentators – but at the end of the day nothing is going to change without action. People have to rise up and confront this beast called DPP head on. We have seen Arab upraising whereby people demonstrated against their governments for weeks but in Malawi cannot even demonstrate for a day. These politicians have known that Malawians are stupid and can’t stand up to them that is why they do garbage things knowing they will still be voted into power. It started when people… Read more »

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

The Whistle Blower is protected by the democratic state of Malawi in which the ordinary people are the rulers. Malawians will be foolish to watch one of their own be manhandled and prosecuted for exposing corruption of the highest order. No one is above the law, not even the head of state (though he may be temporarily be protected by the immunity whilst in office). The arm of the law is long and has patience but as has been proven many a times, it catches up with the perpetrators. In this case the evidence for wrongdoing by the head of… Read more »

Panganani
Guest

KOMA STANDARDBANK ILI NDI MANAGEMENT, CEO AND AN EFFECTIVE IMPARTIAL BOARD?

Panganani
Guest

Koma nkhani yayikulunso ndi yoti-WHO IS A DPP MOLE IN STANDARDBANK WHO IS AIDING AND ABATING CORRUPTION? Being a reputable international bank, why was the DPP allowed to open and operate a BANK ACCOUNT for a CORPORATE SOLE where one person is a signatory? Who provided the exception for normal Bank procedures that allow such corporate accounts to operate with a minimum of three signatories , what the incentives drove him or her to provide the exception?

My conclusion is STANDARDBANK NDI YA DPP pamodzi ndi banki yina ina inaba Malawi Savings Bank.

More From Nyasatimes