President Chakwera spares Chizuma despite Commission of Inquiry recommending action

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has reiterated his support for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General, Martha Chizuma, and that he will not take any disciplinary action against her in relation to the violation of her Oath of Secrecy.

The Commission of Inquiry President Chakwera instituted into the controversial arrest of Chizuma in December 2022 recommended that some action should be taken regarding offences she may have committed in the January 2021 leaked audio.

“Since I had already dealt with this as an administrative matter when I forgave Ms. Chizuma last year, I sought clarification from the Commission on how they found the leaked audio to be relevant to the attack on Ms. Chizuma on December 6th.

“It was explained to me that because the complaint the police acted on to arrest Ms. Chizuma was centred on the audio, and since the courts have already ruled that anyone injured by that audio has a right to file a complaint to the police, then obstructing anyone injured by that audio from exercising their individual right to file a legal complaint and seek court relief not only leaves those injuries unaddressed, but also leaves Ms. Chizuma at risk of unjust attacks from those injured parties and leaves her credibility in the eyes of other agencies the ACB needs support from compromised,” he said.

Chakwera added: “So, I want to make this clear today: I stand by my decision to not fire Ms. Chizuma a year ago and I stand by my choice of her as my champion against corruption today, but I have never said that this means that no one else is allowed to bring a case against her for their own injuries, because that would be unconstitutional.”

The Malawi leader stated that everyone has the constitutional right to bring a case against anyone and that the accused have the right to defend themselves in a court of law, where they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Chakwera said even Chizuma herself has the constitutional right to file a police complaint against the person who recorded her against her wishes, if she so decides, in which case the law would take its course.

“That is our justice system. That is the rule of law. And as President, I swore an oath to defend and uphold the Constitutional rights of all Malawians, and so I would never obstruct any citizen from seeking court relief for injuries they suffered, even from something I myself have forgiven. But what I will obstruct is any person seeking to use the powers of their position in a public institution to assault another just to settle personal scores. That, I can’t allow,” he stressed.

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