Comedian-cum politician Bon Kalindo has given President Lazarus Chakwera a seven-day ultimatum to remove Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma.
If the President fails to fire Chizuma within the period, Kalindo says he will organise nationwide demonstrations.
Kalindo spoke to Nation Online a while a go to confirm an audio clip currently in circulation on social media, in which he is accusing Chakwera and Vice-President Saulos Chilima of failing to uphold rule of law, especially on the issue of the ACB director whose leaked audio has been sanctioned to be under investigation by court.
He said: “Some people think when we do this, we are against the [ACB] director’s quest to fight corruption but no, this issue in not about corruption, this is about integrity and violation of the oath of secrecy.
“Chizuma is not untouchable, she is there to protect the law and if the court has given a go ahead for investigations into the audio to commence, then if she is a person of integrity she must step down.”
Kalindo in a follow up interview emphasized that people must not twist the issue to say Chizuma is being targeted but said there is need to look at the integrity of the holder of that office.
The Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on April 7, ordered the Malawi Police Service and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to investigate a leaked audio involving Chizuma.
This came after an application by Mzuzu resident Frighton Phombo in which he asked the court to open a case against Chizuma on allegations that she violated the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) by revealing to a third party information on a case the bureau was investigating.
In the clip in our custody, the ACB Director Martha is on the record revealing ACB’s operations to a close associate contrary to the Oath of Secret which she took before she started the job.
Reacting to the development a law scholar from the University of Malawi (Unima) said the crime which Chizuma has committed is non-negotiable hence need for President Chakwera to fire her upon recommendation from Parliament.
“The law is clear that she has betrayed her oath she took that she will not reveal secrets of the office. She has spoken to unauthorized people on the phone concerning the operations of the office. That is illegal and she has to go,” said the Scholar who opted for anonymity.
Section 54 (4) of the Corrupt Practices (Oath of Secrecy) Regulations clearly states that any ACB official who reveals official document to unauthorized person is subjected to pay a fine of 50,000 and serve a five year jail term.
“Any officer or consultant in the service of the Bureau! Who:
(a) Except as a witness in any count or in pursuance of his duties directly or indirectly reveals to any unauthorized person or otherwise the contents of any document, communication or information whatsoever which has come to his knowledge in the course of his duties as such officer or consultant;
(b) Makes use for his own purposes, any knowledge acquired , from such document, communication or information, shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding K50,000 and to a term-of imprisonment of five years.”