Law expert exonerates ACB czar over quick arrests on judges bribery saga

A prominent law professor has backed Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba for his decision not to bow down to public pressure to arrest suspects alleged attempts to bribe judges overseeing a legal challenge to the re-election last year of President Peter Mutharika.

Law expert Danwood Chirwa: No legal need to arrest someone for the sake of it

South Africa-based Professor Danwood Chirwa said Matemba studied law and has long experience with criminal prosecutions.

“Arrest is for purposes of preventing a crime or trial, not just to detain people before trial. If the guy says he hasn’t completed the investigation, he has no legal need to arrest someone for the sake of it and then let them out within 48 hours because he doesn’t have a precise charge,” said Chirwa.

He said it is an abuse of the law to arrest merely on the basis of a complaint and before completing investigations, unless it is believed the suspect is reasonably likely to commit another offence of a similar nature or will interfere with the investigation.

Chirwa said Matemba is saving the country from chaos.

“The ACB will act in a few days,” Matemba told reporters on Thursday, promising Malawians would not be “let down.”

On Thursday people took to the streets in the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) organised protests  after Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda  charged that the five judges presiding over the case had been offered kickbacks.

The complaint, which was filed to ACB on Monday, prompted a call for demonstrations in Malawi’s three main cities. Around 50,000 people gathered in the capital, Lilongwe, with smaller rallies in Blantyre and Mzuzu. They braved the rain and stood vigil outside parliament. Many wore white T-shirts printed with “ACB name and arrest the bribers now.”

Opposition leaders say the May 21 poll, which saw Mutharika narrowly beat runner-up candidate Lazarus Chakwera, was marred by fraud.

In August, they petitioned Malawi’s top court to annul the results — the first time presidential election results have been legally challenged since the country gained independence from Britain in 1964.

A court ruling on the election challenge is expected by the end of January. The ACB aims to complete its probe before then.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Naluso
Guest
Naluso

Nyasatimes stop giving this cadet space in your paper. He is another bought lawyer, see the lack of objectivity in all his articles regarding this case from the beginning. He is actually sponsored to write articles that side with DPP, that is why he always has to say something.

Noxy
Guest

Truth pains. Prof Danwood is absolutely right as his title Law expert says.

Atokwene
Guest
Atokwene

Danwood go and teach your fellow tumbuka Mtambo of HRDC about the law. I totally agree with you indeed. Matemba will not arrest the ones mentioned because the law bars him to do so before completing investigations. Let Mtambo and company do whatever they want. Even conducting demos everyday will not force Matemba.

Msambanjati
Guest
Msambanjati

A CHITSILU TRIBALIST, RACIST, a very fucked up DPP cadet. So in your fucked up mind every one from the mighty north is a Tumbuka.I guess every one from southern religion is a lomwe no wonder you are writing trash here

Machiavelli
Guest
Machiavelli

Why mentioning Tumbukas. Is Mtambo a Tumbuka. And even if he is a tumbuka, are those demonstrating Tumbukas only?. Inu ndiachitsiru eti. You got nothing in your brains but mamina

Tuntyufe
Guest
Tuntyufe

Danwood is right. Let ACB not act based on emotions, that’s how high profile cases get lost

masoambeta
Guest
masoambeta

This guy sounds like the saviour of humanity. Due to massive ignorance here in Malawi, and shortage of civil enlightenment due to man made poverty, Mr Chirwa exposes his opinions higher than they should be. Bet he’s a book worm and full of theory as most academics are- which is what they should be. I conclude that these are his opinions which is entitled to but sadly sold massively to others as gospel truth. The fact is, every argument exposes the possibility that it is DPP attempting to corrupt the judges.

Nyaphapi One
Guest

Danwood, sometimes it is better not to comment on obvious matters. In this case where a ‘complaint’ came from the CHIEF JUSTICE, you as DANWOOD, would know the scenario and what is at play.