The manner in which the country’s judiciary is handling the Ashok Nair and Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Kezzie Msukwa in the alleged corrupt case, is slowly but steadily, proving to be “suspicious” with selective application of justice.
Ashok Nair was arrested, spent nights in Police cells and Msukwa defied the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) order to surrender himself so a statement can be recording – the following day he went to hospital for a high blood pressure over-shoot and was arrested there for ignoring the order.
Meanwhile, Ashok was being denied bail and incarcerated to Maula Prison (not police cell) as per Chief Magistrate Patrick Chirwa’s ruling.
Msukwa’s lawyer rushed to Zomba High Court “judge shopped” Justice Zione Ntaba who was on holiday to quash the warrant of arrest issued in Lilongwe and get his client into freedom pending judicial review.
President Lazarus Chakwera has not swiftly moved to sack or suspended his cabinet minister to allow ACB do their work along the 4 counts listed on the warrant of arrest.
Mzuzu-based socio-political commentator Jackson Msiska described the handling of corruption cases in the country as “drama” since it is only the riff-raff that face the long arm of the law.
He said: “These Msukwa investigation has now given President Chakwera and ACB Director General Martha Chizuma a litmus test on their calls to curb corruption in Malawi. It seems Kezzie Msukwa, is untouchable, while Askok Nair is incarcerated at Maula Prison yet they face the same charge.
“What will happen when other cabinet ministers and high profile people are to be arrested? Are their lawyers going to rush to Zomba High Court to buy freedom? We need clear intervention otherwise selective justice practices by those with the powers in Courts cannot be tolerated, neither can we accept political shielding.”
The Malawi Law Society and other eminent legal minds including former Director of Prosecutions Kamudoni Nyasulu, Attorney General Charles Mhango condemned the court order while former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara called for ceasefire from his colleagues saying despite the court order being a bad one, it needed to be obeyed.
The statement by ACB announcing Msukwa’s arrest indicated that the bureau established that “Zuneth Sattar through his agent Ashok Kumar Sreedharan aka Ashok Nair engaged in some corrupt practices in some land-related matters in Area 46, Lilongwe District and Chipoka in Salima District.”
“The investigations have so far established that in relation to the mentioned land matters, Hon Kezzie Msukwa on four occasions corruptly used his official powers contrary to section 25 (1) as read together with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act,” reads part of the statement
Ndala further said the investigations further established that Nair aided in procuring corrupt use of official powers contrary to section 35 as read together with section 25 (2) and section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act.
“On 29th December, 2021 the Bureau arrested Zuneth Sattar’s agent Ashok Kumar Sreedharan aka Ashok Nair in Lilongwe.
“The investigations surrounding Zuneth Sattar and Politically Exposed Persons are ongoing and the Bureau will keep the public informed of any updates on the investigation,” said Ndala.
ACB promises more arrests and selective justice will impair the whole struggle against the vice which is benefiting a few politically exposed people.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :