CARE argues demos in private homes not solution to corruption, but provision of funding to ACB

A newly established non-governmental organization – Citizen Advancement for Economic Resolution (CARE) – has argued that mass protests in homes of people suspected of corruption is not a solution to fighting graft in Malawi, but capacitating Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) so that it effectively carries out its duties.

The organization has since challenged the Tonse Alliance government to provide adequate funding to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) if the country is to achieve meaningful results from the Bureau’s fight against graft.

CARE Team Leader Redson Munlo argued that it was unconceivable for the government and citizens, at large, to expect ACB successfully detect, prevent and prosecute corruption with an empty purse.

Munlo made the sentiments in an interview on Wednesday when Nyasa Times sought to understand why his organization issued a statement, denouncing Citizens Against Corruption and Impunity for planning to hold demonstrate at the house of Ashok Nair..

The statement has been endorsed by Fredrick Malata, Luther Mambala, Helix Mainar and Brighton Sagawa.

Munlo argued that holding demonstrations in private homes of businesspersons will not help Malawi deal with corruption, as main facilitators and executors of graft are senior officials placed in various government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“That’s why we are against the holding of demonstrations in private homes because that is unlawful as well,” he said.

He cited Chapter IV (4) of the Constitution of Malawi, which provides for a Bill of Rights and Section of 15 of the Constitution, which guarantees protection of human rights and freedoms.

Munlo defended their decision to issue a statement to denounce another organization.

He said while they acknowledge that ACB is dealing with a lot of corruption cases, including the former Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa and Ashok Nair, they noted that some individuals were propagating violence against Asians resident in Malawi.

He also defended Nair’s decision to sue ACB Director General Martha Chizuma, arguing he was within the legal precincts to seek legal remedies to his battered image following the leakage of the audio clip in which Chizuma made allegations that a judge at the High Court received a bribe to release Nair on bail.

“I was invited to be part of the team that has been planning for the infamous “Ashok Must fall” demonstrations. However, our continued assessment tells us that this is a misplaced action and we have decided not to continue to be part of it because the aim for the demonstration in criminal in nature because it intend to go into people homes which is trespassing, and tantamount to anarchy,” said Munlo.

“Ashok as citizen in Malawi has the rights provided by the constitution and it is the court that can only suspend some on those rights. The rights he enjoys including that to seek for legal redress in whatever matter within the boundaries of Malawi and we cannot be party to suppression of someone’s rights.

“The case between Ashok and Madam Chizuma is in her personal capacity and in no any way is affecting or choking the operations of ACB however let us warn should Ashok dare to suffocate the operations of ACB then we will appropriately deal with that.

“We believe that Madam Chizuma as an individual in not immune to law suits and that such law suits should be properly dismissed by the competent court not pubic court. The action being propagated may lead to violence and destruction of properties of Malawians of Asian origin and the Asian business community in general.

“We feel the current energies on the “ant Ashok demonstration” will be more meaningful if they are directed to duty bearer to take appropriate actions on this matter than an individual who has no influence on any policies,” he added.

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