The Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) czar Martha Chizuma and the country’s meticulous Attorney General, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda have been named the joint 2021 Nyasa Times Persons of the Year.
Nyasa Times confers this award of the person(s) of the year to people have led a way in pursuit for excellence and individuals who have defied the odds, risen beyond and above business as usual and go out the comfort zones to do what is just and right while serving the country and her citizens with a positive influence.
From the frontline of Covid to inspirational sports and music personalities, our worldwide audience have named two of Malawi’s brilliant legal minds, who in the year that has just ended contributed significantly to the fight against corruption, as their choices for the persons of the year 2021.
Nyasa Times readers across the globe were asked to offer suggestions of who they would choose as their person (s) of the year in 2021 and they picked their best two.
Tens of dozens of names were put forward – from doctors, scientists, politicians, men and women of God, from philanthropist to music and sports personalities, from healthcare workers, Human Rights activists, climate justice activists to ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things in society.
Both Martha Chizuma and Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda were appointed in the year by President Lazarus Chakwera to lead the war against crime with an emphasis on corruption and abuse of office in line with the Malawi leader’s political promise of ‘clearing the rubble.’
In the year, Chizuma and Chakaka Nyirenda they displayed the best of humanity – selflessness, compassion, stamina, courage while protecting as much of us as they could, by risking their lives every day, putting their heads on the line for the public good.
The two young legal bulldozers, Chizuma and Chakaka Nyirenda in 2021 displayed the best of human bravery, resilience, selflessness, compassion, stamina, and courage while protecting as much of not only the country’s public resources but also promoting national pride and safeguarding the people integrity and dignity as pursued justice and the rule of law.
Chizuma and Chakaka Nyirenda, since appointed to their respective portfolios, they have not only showed up, but they also turned up, with vigour and extra-bravado and worked with other crime agencies with grace and dignity.
Chizuma has also been named the Woman of the Year at the 2021 Africa Gender Equality Conference, and recently, The United States of America (USA) awarded Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general as an anti-corruption champion out of 12 other honourees globally.
Martha Chizuma, the former Ombudsman was appointed head of Malawi’s graft-bustling body, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) replacing Reyneck Matemba.
The industrious and results oriented ACB chief, Chizuma, who has made history as the first woman to become ACB’s director since she was confirmed by Public Appointments Committee of Parliament (Pac) on a rebound after she was initially rejected has proved her doubters and haters alike wrong as she has proved to be a tough nut to crack.
“Martha Chizuma is a model of dignity and perseverance in the fight for justice against corruption and white-collar crime in Malawi – For Chizuma, fighting crime and criminals isn’t just a means to gain finances – She is so passionate, and very good at what she does,” said Moses Banda, an Accountant in Blantyre.
“On Chizuma, President Chakwera made a right choice for she has shown the country and far beyond the borders what it truly means to be a professional head of an Anti-Corruption organisation.
“Her tenacity in the face of a seemingly intransigent political force is nothing short of amazing. I weep just thinking about her and what she is doing as people who were never going to be arrested are being netted like fish in a shallow lake,” said a Nyasa Times reader based in New York, Jonathan Manda.
After being informed of her selection as a person of the year by Nyasa Times readers, an elated Chizuma, in interview Chizuma said: “It is totally humbling. The work we do is complex, risky, and tough whichever way you look at it. As a result, it leaves you pretty much isolated and recognitions like these are very soothing.
“My hope is that such recognitions should motivate us to do more so that this country gets rescued from the scourge of corruption – that the people of Malawi should start seeing that the funds in the public purse are being re-invested in public services and not going into few people’s pockets or indeed finding their way to the streets of Dubai or other countries, so thank you Nyasa Times for this great honour.
Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda on 27 August 2021, the President of the Republic of Malawi Lazarus Chakwera appointed Nyirenda as the Attorney General replacing Dr. Chikosa Silungwe who was fired on 21 July 2021.
Since then, the new government legal advisor, Chakaka Nyirenda, has been breathing fire against those willing to plunder and pilferage public resources and has put to a full-stop to all shady and clandestine deals involving government including suspending some companies from further tendering.
Before assuming the AG’s office, he worked at Malawi’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) as Manager of Ethics and Compliance Division and as in-house Legal Counsel.
The AG recently terminated a multi-billion-kwacha passport contract government had signed with Techno Brain in March 2019.
The termination came just three days after the AG faulted the procurement process of the $60 million (about K47.4 billion) contract between Techno Brain and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.
Chakaka Nyirenda has also gone to town to find the truth about a bank that was allegedly sold for a song and hinted at a probe into the 2015 sale of former wholly government-owned Malawi Savings Bank (MSB).
Within a short period of time, the AG has been impactful in his job and has made a massive change to the justice system.
Chakaka Nyirenda has also declared that regulations to empower local businesses in public procurement have taken long to be in force saying the Ministry of Justice will soon finalise the regulations to facilitate enforcement of the laws.
The way the Attorney General has been challenging flawed legal reasoning has been brilliant.
Chakaka Nyirenda he has been publicly presenting forward-thinking legal advice to the government and the leadership in the midst of a global pandemic at the heart of a toxic and polarised economic environment.
Chakaka Nyirenda has kept calm and a clear head while having to advise the government on momentous legal decisions.
Chakaka Nyirenda is brilliant, young and courageous legal representing Africa and much more.
He an amazing young person, calling on all people to do their part to stop legal abortions.
Reacting to notification that he has been named joint person of the year, the Attorney General said: “I am honoured to be named Nyasa Times joint person of the year, I never expected it and I am so grateful for the recognition. The power to change our country lies in every Malawian’s hands and together we can make Malawi great again.”
“We at Nyasa Times publications congratulate and highly commend the ACB Director Martha Chizuma and Attorney General, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda for showing Malawians that youthful professionals can take a lead to transform Malawi for the better.
“In you two, Malawians can believe again. Once again congratulations to you both and your staff who are tirelessly working for things to happen,” said Managing Director Edgar Chibaka.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :