In a letter dated 8 October 11, 2020, HRDC says since around July 2020, there have been a large number of high profile arrests of people who were holding high posts in the previous administration by both the ACB and Malawi Police Service.
“These arrests include politicians, senior public officers and business people,” reads the letter signed by HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence.
Trapence, however, wonders why, up to date, there hasn’t been any prosecution of any of these.
“For example, the Supreme Court recently released Mr. Norman Paulos Chisale, inter alia, because he is yet to be charged in a court of law. We can cite other examples like Collins Magalasi, Peter Mukhitho, Roza Mbilizi, Godfrey Itaye and many others,” he said.
He adds: “HRDC is concerned with the current state of affairs. The questions we ask are: whether the arrests were without merit? Whether some suspects are being shielded by the so called “system”? Whether our law enforcement agencies have requisite expertise to professionally prosecute such high profile cases?
“HRDC is receiving concerns from Malawians regarding the conduct of law enforcement in “draining the swamp” they feel the way forward is transparency in how your office and the others copied herein are handling these cases.
“As the saying goes “justice delayed is justice denied”, speedy prosecution of such high profile individuals will remove the impression that the arrests were just a smokescreen to hoodwink Malawians. Furthermore, it is in the suspects’ interests to have their cases resolved one way or the other.”
ACB boss Matemba confirmed receiving the letter from HRDC but refused to comment, saying it is Kachale’s call to do so.
During his inauguration on July 6 in Lilongwe, President Lazarus Chakwera promised to clear the rubble of corruption in Malawi which he said has in recent decades ruined the country’s taxes.
Since then, there have been high-profile arrests of suspects of fraud and corruption by both Malawi Police Service and ACB, on which Malawians anxiously wait for justice to take its course.
Meanwhile, ACB has given HRDC an update of progress on complaints the human rights body has been filing.
ACB, according to the update we have seen, updated HRDC on a complaint that Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) flouted procurement procedures and regulations in the procurement of mobile laboratory fuel testing van in a contact it had with City Motors at a contact sum of K704 million.
The corruption busting body reports that investigations commenced and are progressing well and hinted they expect to conclude them by end of October 2020.
ACB updated HRDC that in the case of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), where a suspicion was raised that it awarded a contract to Shenzen Intermeter Co Ltd to supply meters and meter boxes under the support of influential political figures, investigations are also expected to be concluded by end of October 2020.
The bureau further updated HRDC that it expects to conclude investigation by end of November 2020 in an allegation that Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) in Area 3 was suspected to have corruptly transferred a housing estate to two businesspersons, Mustaq Chothia and Suleman Ismael Karim.
It was alleged the two have also been allocated land near Kamuzu Central Hospital roundabout in Lilongwe and in Area 15 and Area 3.
Investigations against Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) are expected to be concluded by December 2020 according to the ACB update to HRDC.
The cases include suspicion that the regulatory body gave Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) an institution’s motor vehicle, Toyota Hilux, BS 962, bought a KIA Sportage, BU 5780, and gave it to former Cabinet minister Nicholas Dausi and another one, BU 2220, to Justin Saidi, the then secretary for Information, among other allegations.
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