President Lazarus Chakwera met London-based law expert Allan Z. Ntata who launched a citizen-led initiative to help build and ensure public accountability.
State House Director of Communication Sean Kampondeni told the Weekly Press Conference in Lilongwe that Chakwera maet Ntata a law barrister who had previously worked at Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and also served as late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s legal advisor.
Ntata established a watchdog called Independent Commission on Accountability and Transparency (iCAT) geared toward investigating, and supporting the prosecuting and preventing acts of corruption in both the public and private sectors of the Malawian society, including educating the public about the ills of corruption and the benefits of its eradication.
According to Kampondeni, President Chakwera appreciates the literature which Ntata has been writing regarding to fighting corruption.
Kampondeni told the Weekly Press Conference in Lilongwe that the President has already demonstrated willingness to clamp down on corruption and deal with all backlog of Cashgate cases.
He said President Chakwera wants a specialised financial division within the Judiciary to achieve Tonse Alliance administration’s desire to speed up financial crimes.
Chakwera in his maiden State of the Nation Address (Sona) on September 4 2020 said his administration was geared to facilitate the setting of High Court’s financial division to speed up financial crimes.
Professor Danwood Chirwa, a dean of law at University of Cape Town in South Africa said the idea of financial division of the High Court is “hugely welcome” and necessary going by the volume of financial crimes.
“The criminal division has too much work, considering that much of the case load in the courts concerns crime. This criminal division lends itself to further subdivision such as into a sexual offences division to deal with this highly specialised area.
“Financial crimes are complex and have become endemic and need specialised adjudicatory skills much as they also need specialised investigative and prosecutorial agencies,” Chirwa said in quotes reported by daily newspaper, The Nation.
He recommend that in addition to a specialised division for financial crimes, there must also be established a special investigative agency for financial crimes (excluding corruption), and a special prosecutorial agency for these financial crimes.
“[Of course] to be effective the new High Court division for financial crimes would require the appointment of additional judges and specialised training for both new and experienced judges,” Chirwa said.
Corruption is a major challenge to economic development, poverty alleviation, democratic governance, the justice framework and the rule of law in many countries including Malawi. It leads to imprudent public spending and waste of public resources. The practice is a universal phenomenon that transcends culture, nationality and race.
Malawi is reeling from a mass corruption scandal christened as Cashgate which London-based auditors RSM ( formerly Baker Tilly) revealed about K13 billion was lost from 2012 during the administrations of Joyce Banda.
Chakwera unseated former leader Peter Mutharika in a June 23 re-run election after the 2019 polls were overturned by a court, citing irregularities.
Critics had accused former president Mutharika of doing little to tackle corruption.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :