Will ACB cope with Malawi corruption ‘tsunami’ cases?
It has now become clear that the number of people arrested on corruption charges will swell. What we have witnessed so far may just be a tip on iceberg. From the rot and other shady deals that are being exposed, it is evident that more people are on the list to be ‘quarantined’ at Chichiri prison, Maula Prison or other confinement centres as the ACB continues to investigate individuals involved in corrupt activities. Many Malawians are happy that those who plundered the economy or linked to criminal activities are being arrested and are face to justice.
However, the question that should be asked is: does the Anti-Corruption Bureau have enough resources – personnel and financial- to prosecute all the cases. Unless the ACB is well resourced there is a risk that not much will be achieved. It will be the same song where people are arrested and charged, but very few end up in jail.
The ACB has so many corruption cases that are still in court. Many of them are yet to be concluded [including those involved in 2012 cashgate]. For example, the corruption cases involving former president Bakili Muluzi [close to 10 years now], former Minister of Home Affairs Uladi Musa, former DPP regional governor Christopher Mzomera Ngwira (two cases), business executive Karim and many other individuals are still in court. Other corruption cases linked to the 13 files have yet to be prosecuted.
With the impending arrests ACB will be overwhelmed and may not manage to prosecute everyone. The euphoria created may end up in disappointment as conviction rate may turn out to be low.
While the arrest is a precursor to prosecution, Malawians are more interested in seeing looters serving sentences than mere arrests. This is where the ACB needs to strategise to ensure that the arrested individuals are prosecuted within a reasonable time. Surely, Malawians will be disappointed to see the cases taking longer than anticipated. It would be in the interest of justice and public interest to dispose of the cases as soon as it practicable.
The ACB should discuss with the chief justice through the Director of Public Prosecutions to set up a special court to specifically adjudicate corruption cases just like the Constitutional Court was constituted to handle the presidential election case. It only took about nine months to conclude the case.
So several judges should be assigned to preside over corruption cases so that they are concluded within a short time. If the ACB has a watertight case against an individual (i.e. enough evidence), it should not take a long before the verdict is passed. Our courts are already saddled with other cases and to add more cases to their plate will make corruption cases drag for ages.
ACB should beef up its prosecution team by employing more lawyers or getting assistance from private law firms at a reasonable fee. [Lawyers are not cheap, eeeh!] If they can get pro bono services, such lawyers need special honour. ACB should also request for more funding from treasury and move with speed with the cases to ensure justice is done.
Malawians want to see looters of public resources spend time in jail. Equally important, they want the stolen money recovered.
That is what happens when the whole government is running helter-skelter drafting emotionally driven charges as a vendetta. At the end of all this silly exercise the money which will have been lost will be massive. Unfortunately, time will have been lost trying to victimise would-be competitors, who apparently might be found innocent, hence paying out more money as compensation.
When JB denied involvement in cashgate scandle, ACB rebuked her anf stated she was very much involved, according to recotds. Now that she is part of the Tonse Alliance government, will ACB arrest her? Let’s wait and see.
Matemba recused himself from the corruption case of Bakili Muluzi. Can he be trusted to follow through on any case? The Muluzi and Bingu’s cases ought to be the first ones to prosecute and finalize. Witnesses are going to forget details about these cases or worse of all they may die. ACB under Matemba is demonstrating how corrupt it is.
dont expect any progress from Matemba, what he is doing is just publicity so that his contract gets renewed. Chakwera should not waste time with Matemba
Matemba is not up to the tasks. He is lazy, childish and UTM informant. We need someone mature and independent thinker to head acb. Someone like Mary kachale perhaps who single handedly took down hon Ralph kasambara
He will deal with it.We like the pace he has taken.And everyone of good will need to support him
Mxiii why didn’t you ask Director of ACB to make a comment on your assessions which are very true in fact? Poor journalism!!
Evidence will be destroyed
YES ACB WILL AND CANBDO IT.
NO LAZY BONES IF WE WANT A NEW MALAWI.
TOGETHER WE CAN.!!!! LEAVING THE CASES OUT IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS OR WE WERE PART OF IT AND WE ARE CONSENTING THE LOOTING AND THE CORRUPTION TO CONTINUE.
TOGETHER WE CAN CLEAN MALAWI.
You mean then fake cases. It will cope because political persecution will not stand in the courts – if they are independent.