Malawi Law Society (MLS) takes note that the report on circumstances that led to the arrest of the Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General Martha Chizuma — which the Office of the President & Cabinet released as directed by President Lazarus Chakwera — has 49 pages missing and MLS has since demanded its full release for them to “fairly evaluate the 12 Commissioners’ output”.
The report released as directed by Chakwera soon after it was presented at Kamuzu Palace by the Commission, starts with a preamble as the first page and immediately goes to Chapter 8 (page 50).
Thus MLS contends that they cannot fairly evaluate it without examining what has been presented the missing pages up to 49 of the report which has not available to the public.
Soon after he was presented with the full report by chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry, Justice Edward Twea (retired), the President directed Secretary to President, Colleen Zamba to immediately release findings to the public.
This was after Justice Twea read out the chapters containing the Commission’s findings and recommendations and MLS demands that the Secretary to the Commission of Inquiry Frank Kalowamfumbi, must be directed to release the full 70-page report.
MLS contends that the President appointed the Commission of Inquiry “because there were matters of concern to the public about the arrest on 6th December 2022 of the ACB Director General”.
“The President made the appointment of the 12 Commissioners on behalf of the public because there are matters of public welfare in the arrest in terms of section 2(1) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act.
“The Commission is on its own accountable and is required to be transparent to the public under sections 10 and 12 of the Constitution and sections 2 and 7 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act when read together.
“The public is entitled to access to information held by the State by virtue of section 37 of the Constitution and the Access to Information Act.
“We cannot fairly evaluate the 12 Commissioners’ output without examining what they have looked at in pages 1-49 of their report which is not available to the public.”
MLS maintains that the Presidential authority given to the Commission in a public appointment document circulated on 6th December 2022, “specifically required the Commission to zero in on the arrest and not to inquire into the conduct of the arrested”.
“However, pages 50-60 seem to suggest that the Commissioners had different Terms of Reference from the direct question concerning the arrest as raised in the 6th December 2022 appointment notice known to the public.
“The public must be allowed to evaluate how such possible variance in the scope of assignment might have arisen or indeed there is any variance at all.
“The Malawi Law Society, therefore, calls upon the President of the Republic of Malawi and the Chairman of the Commission and his 11 fellow Commissioners to enhance their own public trust, transparency and accountability by releasing the full report as soon as possible for full evaluation of the context of the findings and recommendations.
The statement has been issued by MLS chairperson, Patrick Mpaka and honorary secretary Chrispin Chimwemwe Ngunde on Wednesday.
Chakwera constituted the Commission to probe circumstances that led to Chizuma’s arrest on the dawn of the night of December 6 when a gang of police officers arrested Chizuma following a complaint from Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Steven Kayuni on allegations that the ACB boss had injured him in her leaked audio clip in January 2022.
In that leaked audio, Chizuma was caught discussing office issues with a third party on matters concerning corruption investigations involving Zuneth Sattar and his associates.
The 12-member Commission of Inquiry was to establish the events of public and national interest concerning allegations of improper conduct, abuse of office and illegality surrounding Chizuma’s and all matters ancillary.
It comprised citizenry of respectable standing of Justice Twea as chairperson; Enoch Chibwana; Monsignor Patrick Thawale; former Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service, Lot Dzonzi; Maureen Kachingwe; private lawyer John Gift Mwakhwawa; Innocencia Chilombo; Kassim Mdala Amuli; Reverend Elsie M. Tembo; Senior Chief Tengani; Lingalireni Mihowa and Frank Kalowamfumbi as the secretary.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :