Main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has torn apart the government presented Corrupt Practices Bill, saying it still gives powers to the President to appoint the director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) among others.
MCP spokesperson on Legal Affairs in parliament Maxwell Thyolera told the National Assembly that the government has just devised a new way for the President to appoint the director for the graft-busting body.
The bill says that when a vacancy occurs for the director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the minister of Justice shall constitute an appointing panel which shall appoint three names to be presented to the President who will in turn appoint one person as director.
However, the bill also says the President shall have the powers to veto all the three names.
The appointing panel, according to the bill, shall comprise of people from the public sector, the private sector, the faith community and the media, those that are in ACB strategy.
However, Thyolera said the President should not have powers to reject all the three names, saying he could do it to manipulate the system so that a person he wants be appointed.
Thyolera also said the bill should explicitly say which professional bodies from the public sector, the private sector, the faith community and the media should be mandated to interview the future director, saying the President can appoint his loyalists for the exercise so that they appoint a person the president wants.
However, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said the new bill takes away the powers from the President of appointing the director of ACB.
He said his office would now be mandated to advertise for the post in newspapers and the appointing panel would select three successful candidates before the president appoints one.
“The appointed person would still be subjected to scrutiny by the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament,” he said.
Both State Vice-President SaulosChilima of UTM party and Lazarus Chakwera of the MCP have openly said once voted into power in May, 2019, they would ensure that they have nothing to do with the appointment of the director of ACB, saying they would leave it to parliament or any other independent body.
A cross section of Malawians feel the current ACB is shielding corrupt officials in the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government.
Another contentious issue is the donation of K145 million to DPP and five vehicles worth K85 million from unscrupulous Indian businessman Zameer Karim.
State House denies any wrong doing by the President, saying Mutharika did not benefit personally.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :