President Banda accused of stalling ACB operations

For the past few weeks, operations at the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) have almost come to a standstill with no investigations on new cases, a development some employees have laid blamed on President Joyce Banda.

Sources have told Nyasa Times for about six weeks now business at the anti-graft body has been paralyzed since government wrote the bureau Director Alexious Nampota to “voluntarily relinquish his position.”

But the out-of-favour director, who was arrested a few days ago on suspicion that he pocketed huge allowances for a trip he never undertook last year, has remained defiant saying he was not ready to resign and if government wants it should fire him.

Nampota: Out of favour

Our source said nothing, in terms of corruption prevention, is currently working because the beleaguered director is not giving any consent to prosecutors to investigate cases.

Standstill

Nyasa Times source said all the complaints and tip offs the graft busting body has been receiving lately are just piling up and gathering dust in files because Nampota is not keen to give consent
and assign prosecutors to go ahead with their investigations.

“Everything has come to a standstill. There is nothing we are doing because the director, who is the only person to give a go-ahead and assign a prosecutor to a particular case, has stopped working,” said the source.

“Since he was asked to resign in May he has not been working and the development has stalled all the operations.

“There are several complaints and corruption tips we have been receiving, most of them committed during the previous regime, but we handcuffed, we cannot prosecute without the director assenting,” she explained.

The source confided in Nyasa Times a number of high-profile cases that have been reported to ACB (which ethically we cannot publish) which have been stalled due to the development.

“The problem is how government has handled the issue. But it is shooting itself in the foot because even some cases that are implicating people which government wants to be investigated have also
halted,” said the source.

The scenario is similar to that of Clerk of Parliament Matilda Katopola who refused to certify the bills passed in Parliament and send them to President Banda to assent so that they become into law.

Katopola vowed never to sign the bills, which included the Appropriation Bill (which allows the just passed K408 billion national budget to become effective) until issues surrounding her compulsory
leave were fully discussed and concluded instead the bills were signed by her deputy, Henry Njolomole, two weeks after they were passed in Parliament.

Nampota, who is serving his second third year contract (2011-2013), is under pressure from government to resign from his post for his alleged unprofessionalism.

Unconfirmed reports were rife that government had tipped Malawi Law Society President John Gift Mwakhwawa to take over from Nampota.

Meanwhile, Nampota has obtained an exparte injunction from the High Court stopping government and its agents or servants for declaring his services at ACB are untenable which government since laughed at and challenge that they would meet in court.

Background

Nampota first joined the ACB at its inception in 1997 as deputy director. He then left it in March 2004 at the end of his contract which was not renewed.

He rejoined the Bureau in 2007 as director, replacing late Tumalisye Ndovi whose appointment was rejected by the Public Appointments Committee (PAC).

Nampota will be remembered by Malawians for his historic prosecution of former president Bakili Muluzi for the ongoing K1.7 billion corruption case.

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