Malawi Law Society tells UTM cadres to stop shielding Chilima from ACB interrogators

Malawi Law Society has told UTM cadres to stop obstructing the graft busting body, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) interrogators who want to meet Vice President Saulos Chilima over allegations that he might have received huge sums of money and other gifts from businessman Zuneth Sattar.
In a statement issued on Sunday and signed by the Malawi Law Society (MLS) president Patrick Mpaka and secretary Chrispine Ngunde, Chilima is not immune from prosecution, therefore the ACB should be left to do its job.

MLS President Patrick Gray Mpaka says Veep has no immunity.
“”We also call upon members of the Vice President’s political party or the general public to avoid taking actions or steps that may be perceived to seek to obstruct or impede the course of justice in the matter concerning the allegations of corruption by the Vice President,” says the statement in part.
MLS says under the Constitution, the Vice President is not immune from criminal prosecution.
“Given that sustained high level corruption has been among the major and primary setbacks undermining the realisation of the will and aspirations of the people of Malawi to progressive development as recorded in several places in the Constitution, the Anti- Corruption Bureau is therefore duty bound and should take up and conclude any criminal investigations and prosecution against the Vice President if the Bureau has evidence of such malpractice attributed to the Vice President,” says MLS.
The statement says Chilima remains liable to criminal prosecution if the Anti-Corruption Bureau or any law enforcement agency has reason to believe in his potential guilt.
MLS also says that remains at liberty to decide to delegate or not to delegate some functions to the Vice President, saying the President’s announcement entails that the President has opted for the latter option.
“It is therefore quite a complex situation which can easily create or be exploited to create a political impasse because, of necessity, there should be practical intersection of the duties of the Vice President under the Constitution, under statute and under the delegated role from the President since all those three lines of the Vice President’s functions derive from the constitutional authority of the two offices of the President and the Vice President,” says the statement.
The Malawi Law Society therefore recommends quick and lawful resolution of the issues that have given rise to the situation so that the country can move forward as one unit knowing the state of potential guilt or innocence of the country’s Vice President and avert the impasse that can be created by a sustained state of uncertainty.
The society calls upon all institutions and state agents and organs dealing with the corruption allegations against Chilima to support the Anti-Corruption Bureau in its pursuit of any legal process that the Bureau may deem appropriate.

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