The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma was no show for Sunday’s Times Hot Current program despite her confirmation that she will attend the live interview to defend herself from the popular feelings among Malawians that she has failed and it was time for her to leave office.
Soon after the program went on air, host Wonder Msiska told viewers that Chizuma was expected to be featured in the program along social commentator and analyst Humphrey Mvula, however, the ACB boss excused herself just soon before the program went on air.
Nevertheless, the program went ahead with Mvula as the sole guest and looked at a number of issues including how the country is progressing in the fight against corruption.
Mvula in his comments retaliated his earlier position that Chizuma has not performed to the expectations of Malawians including the appointing authority.
“To be honest the ACB Director General is someone who we really liked and is someone who has received a lot of support from the President to do her work. However, what we have seen is an office that has not performed in line with the support she has,” Mvula said.
Mvula said to him the major problem was that the ACB boss has failed to coordinate and create a good working relationship with other law enforcement agencies specifically the office of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Attorney General.
Earlier during a Sunday Capital Radio Round Table program also told the host of the program that event with the amendment of the Anti-Corruption Act that is giving the Bureau powers to prosecute without the DPP consent, it is still doubtful that in its current form the Bureau would be able to perform.
One of the callers during the program also said with the amended law it would be a waste to continue with Chizuma at the Bureau.
“She can’t continue serving in that capacity. I would rather have someone like Thabo Nyirenda (the current AG) at ACB to move forward with the new law than maintain Chizuma,” said one caller from Chiradzulu.
Since she took up the position as the ACB Director General, Chizuma has been embodied in a number of scandals including when he was caught in a phone conversation discussing some operational details of the Bureau. Again, two months ago the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Dr Steven Kayuni, in a letter to Chizuma, admonished the head of the graft bursting body describing her approach to investigations as an embarrassment and disappointment to other law enforcement agencies in the country.
The letter exposed Chizuma’s incompetence and self-centredness in the case involving the illegal use of President Peter Muntharika’s TPIN by some of his aid whereby she has opted to pursue the matter on her own while side lining other law enforcement agencies.
Only two weeks ago it was reported that some of the documents connected to the 44-UTM vehicles which are suspected to have been bought corruptly, went missing and just this week Chizuma was on the spotlight again after it transpired that she phoned the 44 vehicles whistle-blower Gosten Chinseu threatening him to stop raising issues of the Bureau in the media.
“I really feel intimidated and threatened. The phone call with the ACB director lasted exactly 12 minutes 38 seconds and was the longest call of my life,” said Chinseu.
In a recent News Talk phone-in program on Capital Radio, Malawians rated Chizuma poorly as ACB DG with 90% of them feeling that she has failed and demanding that she should leave the Bureau by either resigning or fired