Mutharika faulted on removal of Malawi anti-corruption body chief

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has been faulted for the removal of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Rezine Mzikamanda who would be resuming his role as judge of the Malawi Supreme Court.

Despite government playing hide and seek when Nyasa Times broke the story on the firing on Mzikamanda and former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bruno Kalemba , the  Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa has now confirmed the changes.

But Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee (PAC)has faulted President Mutharika in the manner he has removed the Bureau chief, saying the Presiden has erred by not providing reasons for the removal of the ACB boss as required by law.

Justice Mzikamanda: Returns to Supreme Court bench
Justice Mzikamanda: Returns to Supreme Court bench

According to Section 6 (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act, the President can only remove the ACB director with the confirmation of the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament for inability to perform his functions.

PAC chairperson Lingson Belekanyama said Mutharika has not given “any explanation as to why he [Mzikamanda] has been removed.”

Belekanyama said Mutharika did not indicate inability of Justice Mzikamanda to perform his duties but showered him with “praises” in the letter informing PAC.

Government spokesman defended the deployment of Mzikamanda, justifying that government has the mandate to reassign its employees anytime it sees the need to do so provided it is convinced that the expertise of a particular individual would be useful in the concerned department.

As Judge President for Lilongwe Registry, Mzikamanda was one of the deserving officers who were sidelined by the former DPP-led administration when it promoted judges.

Justice Mzikamanda delivered rulings without fear and in defence of the constitution during the  late Bingu wa Mutharika’s autocratic rule.

He has also been defending human rights in his court determinations, saying the current constitution adopted in 1995 is progressive document with a Bill of Rights aimed at guaranteeing and entrenching human rights.

The Judge granted  former president Joyce Banda, when she was vice president, an injunction that the security motor vehicles which were snatched by police should be returned to her.

Late Mutharika ordered the security forces to take away motorcade from Banda with no reasons. But she rushed to court for a stop order.

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