Chakwera challenges new Commission of Inquiry to act differently

President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has challenged the instituted Commission of Inquiry into the arrest of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General, Martha Chizuma, to act differently by delivering results of their probe.

In his speech at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Saturday during the swearing-in of the 12-member Commission, President Chakwera observed that previous experiences have made Malawians doubt their effectiveness; hence, the newly instituted Commission had the task to restore the lost trust.

The President cited inquiries into the deaths of former President Bingu wa Mutharika, former engineering student at the Malawi Polytechnic (now MUBAS) Robert Chasowa, whose results have not been made public to date.

Chakwera stated that investigations are necessary where truths are obscured by political feelings, culture of gossip and lies, social and relationship ties, among others.

“I have appointed this Commission of Inquiry to establish the truth about what led to and the circumstances around the arrest of Ms. Martha Chizuma, Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, on the morning of Tuesday, 6th December 2022.

“I have seen this course of action as necessary because on every matter of public interest in this country, establishing the truth is becoming more and more difficult for several reasons,” he said.

Chakwera stated that Malawi’s pursuit for truth has always been obscured by public outrage, political sensationalism, deep culture of gossip, lies, and slander, and social and relational ties between people.

He further stated that the truth is obscured by the already existing lack of trust between the public and public institutions, which trust has been broken for decades and will take a long time and a concerted effort from all of Malawians to restore.

At this point, the Head of State appealed to Malawians to give his Commission of Inquiry, the first under his presidency, a chance to do the right thing.

“Similarly, I want those of you I have appointed to this Commission to be mindful of the things you are up against. I want you to remember that you have been tasked to establish the truth in a country where the truth is often obscured by other things that you must not allow to distract you or distort your view of reality.”

“I want you to remember that you have been tasked to contribute to the restoration of public trust in public institutions by producing a credible report with recommendations that will furnish me with facts about where the rot is in those institutions involved in any wrongdoing without putting the innocent and the tainted in the same boat.

“I want you to remember that you do not have all the time in the world to complete this task, and that I have done my best to make sure the composition of the Commission is such that it is fully independent, so as to free you to work without fear or favour,” he said.

On Tuesday last week, police arrested Chizuma in a manner several quarters argue befits a hardcore criminal or a high profile corruption suspect.

The State has since withdrawn all the charges levelled against her.

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