Warrant of arrest issued on former DPP Kayuni over corruption allegations 

Lilongwe Senior Magistrate Court has granted the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) a warrant to arrest former Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Steven William Kayuni — together with assistant Chief State Advocate Dzikondianthu Joseph Malunda — for misuse of public office, fraud and breach of trust.

The charges are that while serving as public officers on or about June 11, 2021 while in transit in Kenya, the two abused their offices by arbitrary directing Sky Links Travel to change their destination on air tickets from being Vienna, Austria to Johannesburg, South Africa costing the Malawi Government a lot of money.

Suspended DPP Steve Kayuni

They also used allowances they received for use of their assignment to Vienna for personal use on their trip to Johannesburg.

Count 1 of misuse of public office is contrary to section 25B (1) and (4) of Corrupt Practices Act and count 2 of fraud and breach of trust by public officer is contrary to section 120 of the Penal Code.

Reports have been circulating in the past few hours that ACB Director General, Martha Chizuma was interdicted yesterday effectively stopping her from carrying out duties and allegedly obstruct the Bureau from arresting Kayuni — allegedly together with former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eisenhower Mkaka.

The reports said ACB officers were at the Lilongwe Magistrate Court at around 11:00am on Wednesday to obtain warrants of arrest and by 2:00 pm Chizuma received the interdict order from Secretary to the President & Cabinet (SPC), Colleen Zamba.

According to sources, it is alleged that Zamba acted on instructions to interdict Chizuma as a plot to disable her because she was getting very close to the inner circle.

The government interdicted Chizuma following the criminal court case that is to be heard against her at Lilongwe Magistrate Court regarding the leaked audio that went viral in January last year.

An interdiction order which Zamba issued — dated January 31 — says this is due to two counts that Chizuma is due to answer in court, whose first count is: “making use of speech calculated to lower the authority of a person before whom a judicial proceeding is being had — contrary to Section 113(d) of the Penal Code”.

The second is “making use of speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings— contrary to Section 113(d) of the Penal Code”.

Zamba says the allegations constitute serious misconduct of a public officer and an ACB official in terms of section 49B of the Corrupt Practices (Amendment) Act 2004; Anti-Corruption Bureau Standing Order Numbers D/18 )2) and D/18 (9); Sections 4 (4.5); 6 (6.1); 6 (6.3) and 14 (14.1) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Behaviour of the ACB; Malawi Public Service Regulations 1:201 (6); 1:201 (11); 1:201 (17) and 1:201 (19); and Contract Clause Articles I and II of Chizuma’s employment contract of June 1, 2021.

“In view of this, and in accordance with the Malawi Public Service Commission Regulation 42 (3) as read with Regulation 40, you are interdicted from exercising the powers and functions of your office as Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (Grade 1/C) effective 31 January 2023, with full pay.

“While in interdiction, you shall cease to exercise any powers and functions in the Public Service and you shall not leave Malawi without written permission from the office,” said the letter, while emphasizing that the interdiction order shall remain in force until the conclusion of her criminal proceedings.

It has been copied to Secretary for Human Resource Management & Development; Secretary for Civil Service Commission; the Auditor General; the Accountant General and Solicitor General & Secretary for Justice.

Chizuma was arrested in December over the same issue under instructions from Kayuni, who was subject of the discussion in the leaked audio but President Lazarus Chakwera ordered that the charges be dropped.

The President later instituted a Commission of Inquiry to investigate circumstances that led to irregular arrest, and from its findings that were presented to him Chakwera faulted Kayuni’s action as being “of unsound judgment” and that he breached public trust, “for it is a serious matter for Malawi’s lead prosecutor to have a moment of unsound judgment or a conflict of interest”.

To prevent him from using a public office to settle a personal injury, Chakwera fired Kayuni from office and replaced him with Masauko Edwin Chamkakala as the new DPP.

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