Mutharika fires Malawi anti-corruption chief, top prosecutor

Malawi President Peter Mutharika  has dismissed the head of the country’s anti-corruption watchdog and also sacked Director of Public Prosecution, Nyasa Times understands.

Office of President and Cabinet sources told Nyasa Times that Justice Renzine Nzikamanda would be replaced as head of Anti Corruptio Bureau (ACB).

“The President  is to make appointments of new head of Anti-Corruption Bureau,” sources informed.

Justice Mzikamanda: To return to the High Court bench
Justice Mzikamanda: To return to the Judges bench
Kalemba:  Axed
Kalemba: Axed

However, Office of President and Cabinet refused to comment on the new appointment saying “the public will be rightfully informed when any appointment has been made.”

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.

President Mutharika, insiders say, wants a vibrant anti-corruption crusader to lead ACB, so that his zero-tolerance to corruption stance is practiced.

Mutharika, 74, pledged to prosecute anyone guilty of corruption and make efforts to recoup money stolen during the “Cashgate” scandal, in which 13.5 billion Malawi kwacha ($34 million) disappeared from government coffers between April and the end of September 2013.

About K92 billion was looted from 2005 under DPP-led government  before Cashgate was discovered. in 2013.

The President has also promised to give ACB the independence from political interference.

The graft watchdog is enjoying low public opinion over its handling of high profile cases.

Meanwhile, President Mutharika has also sacked the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bruno Kalemba.

According to Section 102 (2), a DPP can be removed from office upon reaching retirement age, proven incompetence and incapacitation or if the officer is compromised to the extent that his impartiality comes into serious question.

Kalemba had just been cleared by Attorney General,Kalekeni Kaphale, from the allegations of  professional misconduct and abuse of office .

Cashgate suspect-cum-witness Oswald Lutepo, a former executive member of the then governing People’s Party (PP) of Joyce Banda, last week wrote the AG’s office asking for an investigation against Kalemba, former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Fahad Assani and hired prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu for allegedly forcing him to write witness and caution statements to implicate private practice lawyers Ralph Kasambara and Wapona Kita in the Cashgate cases.

Kaphale said he doubts the veracity of the allegations by Lutepo.

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