FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 20TH JUNE, 2022
REACTION FROM MBADWA ZOKHUDZIDWA ON THE ANTI-CORRUPTION BUREAU DIRECTOR GENERAL’S LACK OF SERIOUSNESS IN HANDLING OFFICIAL MATTERS
We the Mbadwa Zokhudzidwa would like to react to the foregoing.
As a matter fact, we would like to state that as all of us have been waiting to hear from the president on the directive he gave to the ACB Director, it has come as a big shock that the ACB Director should be updating her friends and family on Facebook even before the 21 days ultimatum has expired.
As a matter of fact, there have been reports on the social media purportedly claiming that the ACB has finalized the compilation of its findings. It is rather surprising and disappointing that the Office of the Director General of the ACB has decided to use her personal Facebook page on matters that are purely official – claiming that they have finalized the compilation of the report and that the fight is not a fight against government officials or the opposition, but rather a non-selective fight against corruption.
First and foremost, let us once again put it straight on record that our position regarding this office is not jutting from personal anger against the Director General of the ACB but rather on her professional conduct as regards the fight against corruption. We have said more than once that issues of professional conduct are paramount to all public officers in the course of executing their duties. It is unfortunate that much as the ACB Director has been enjoying a lot of public trust from the day her name was proposed, her professional conduct continues to leave a lot to be desired especially when we consider that she has been in breach of her oath of secrecy when she divulged information about her office to an unauthorized individual.
As if what she did was not enough, here she is again, communicating a very crucial assignment on her personal page on Facebook as if the matter in question was casual. We would have expected her office to treat that matter with the seriousness it deserves.
It was the president who directed the ACB Director General to submit a report to his office within 21 days, and we should have expected the same president to tell us if this was complied with, and the ACB Director General was under obligation to report to the same office and not to her Facebook family and friends. To say the least, this is far below what we should have expected from her office. Apart from this, we, the Mbadwa Zokhudzidwa had suspended our action on her office to resonate with the spirit of the president’s and citizens’ seriousness on this matter.
We would like at this juncture to make mention of the stand taken by the Malawi Law Society on all public officers linked to the corrupt dealings in the country, that they must immediately resign or be suspended. This is because these people have been implicated according to a National Crime Agency affidavit.
Equally, it is a fact that the Director General of the ACB took oath of office not to reveal official secrets – what she breached through her action and has not even bothered to sue the person who leaked her phone conversation. If nobody is talking about this, Malawi must be very afraid. Although many sections of society have been agitating for the prosecution of the suspect, no action whatsoever has been taken and his particulars of identification have forever remained under wraps. This defeats absolutely the assumptions that the recording was a ploy aimed at bringing the ACB Director General down in order to sabotage prosecution of some high level cases. Her inaction on the leaked document is a very big cause of concern and erodes all confidence to her office – and equally – to her purported fight against corruption. THIS THEREFORE JUSTIFIES OUR STAND THAT HER BREACHING OF OATH OF OFFICE SHOULD NOT BE TREATED WITH KIDS’GLOVES and therefore it will be wrong for anyone to call our frustrations with the holder of this office as SPANNING FROM ILL MOTIVES.
Apart from this, let us raise a few questions: Who is in charge of the affairs of Malawi if it is not the president? Who at this point owes Malawians an answer as to what is the progress of the fight against the high level corruption that has just been revealed if it is not the president who announced the 21 days ultimatum?
The foregoing questions also lead us to very interesting questions that no one is bothering to ask: How independent is the ACB if politicians who may also be linked to the corrupt practices seem to be in control of the fright? Chizuma has been given an ultimatum by politicians and she is dancing to that tune. Is there anybody who is seeing what we are seeing?
Chizuma is reporting to politicians and facebook friends and family – virtually compromising her office and the whole fight against corruption. We have no options but to proceed with our plans to seal her office before the end of this month. We shall do this to put it straight that public officers must learn to respect their offices and owe their allegiance to Malawians and not to politicians or intimate friends they may choose to chat casually with and in the process soil the integrity of their offices that stand on public trust.
Finally, in resonance with the hopes and aspirations of all Malawians, we would like to challenge the president of the Republic of Malawi that he is dismally failing to live up to the expectations of Malawians.
Allow us to cite the president’s oath of office as administered in public by the Chief Justice:
“I ….. do solemnly swear that I will well and truly perform the functions of the high office of president of the Republic of Malawi , and that I will preserve and defend the Constitution, and that I will do right to all manner of people according to law without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. So help me God.”
This oath was taken by the president and apparently, he is not doing right to all manner of people according to law as he seems to favour some public officers who have violated their oath of secrecy. As we rally behind the position taken by the Malawi Law Society that the implicated public officers must be suspended, Chizuma too must go for Malawi to preserve and protect the integrity of those offices. If this is not taken seriously, we are going to join forces with all voices asking for the departure of the president from his office.
With these points, let me thank you most heartedly, expecting that you will transmit this message without prejudice or distortions.
Thanks for your attention and God bless you – God bless our land of Malawi.
Signed and endorsed by
Redson Munlo –
Agape Khombe –
Mike Mbalale –
Martha Duma –
Gift Matsimbe –
Esther Maliwa –