HRDC offer support to ACB’s Chizuma as she faces lawsuit from businessman Ashok

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has urged Malawians to guard against any threats that will impede Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma’s work in fight against corruption in the wake of being sued by alleged corruption suspect Ashok Kumar Streedharan for alleged defamation.

The lawsuit relates to the leaked audio clip that went viral on social media last month in which Chizuma alleged that there was an element of corruption when Ashok was released from custody on bail.

Trapence: Throws weight behind Chizuma

Ashok, who was arrested alongside former Minister of Lands, Kezzie Msukwa, over alleged corruption charges in relation to some land issues in Lilongwe, were both released on bail after they sought court intervention.

However, HRDC says — just as it did last month when it “unreservedly offered its support to and around” her following the outcry that followed the leaked conversation and the added pressure following the lawsuit, assures Chizuma of its “continued support as she faces obstruction after obstruction in her quest to fight corruption in the country.

“Since her appointment to the ACB leadership, Chizuma has exhibited a dedication to duty and we have no doubt about her intentions and vision,” says a statement issued by national chairperson, Gift Trapence.

Trapence and his Coalition reminds the public that HRDC rallied support for Chizuma when she was initially rejected by Parliament “because we had faith in her capabilities having excelled in her previous job as the country’s public protector, the Ombudsman”.

“We have faith in our judiciary system and we believe that all parties will be given a fair hearing to enable them to make and to defend their positions. Regardless, our faith in Ms Chizuma’s capability to shake the corruption tree to expose rotten fruit is still intact and we believe she is still the right person for the job.

“As Malawians we should guard against any threats that will impede her work and ensure that she has the right resources to carry out her legal mandate.

“Our final call is that it is imperative for all well meaning Malawians to rally behind Ms Chizuma; offer her the support that she so badly needs and ensure that she carries out her duty without any threats. She needs our support now more than at any time.”

Earlier in the day, political, economic and social rights activist, Ken Msonda circulated a voice note on social media explosively imploring on Malawians to firmly stand up alongside Chizuma towards her lawsuit case.

Ken Msonda – nga nga nga behind Chizuma

Msonda was also joined by senior citizen Krishna Achuthan Snr., who has circulated a message on social media that an Airtel Money account number 0995 117 777 has been opened to support “this brave lady, who stood up for Justice for all of us”.

Mponda argues that these suspects, who are of Asian origins masquerading as Malawians since they possess dual citizenship yet they claim the United Kingdom as their home with Malawi as just a base to “steal” government money through illegal means.

“Let us forget about our political differences; let us forget about our tribal and regional differences and stand in support to protect the office of the ACB because they are not just after Martha Chizuma but all Malawians,” he said.

He said the country is lucky that its leadership of President Lazarus Chakwera — including the past administrations of Bakili Muluzi, late Bingu wa Mutharika, Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika — vows to fight corruption, the social and economic ill of this country.

Msonda assured the public that concerned Malawians have mobilized themselves to protect Chizuma and her office and implored on the legal system not to entertain any alleged corrupt individuals to seek court interventions.

He took cognizance that, yes, the legal counsels are in business and are enticed by huge sums of money to assist these corrupt individuals to defend them, but they should also consider that the money they would eventually be paid for their services is stolen from poor Malawians.

He urged them to apply wisdom and not just legal knowledge even though the law says one is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a competent court of law.

In his message to announce the creation of the Airtel Money account, Achuthan Snr. says this is a moment Malawians rose in support of Chizuma as she has been sued in her individual capacity and has to hire a law firm.

“Kindly contribute generously for this worthy cause. Let justice take its course. Please, dig deep into your pockets  to save our democracy and free Malawi  of the vultures of our taxpayers money.”

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