By Falles Kamanga
Investigations surrounding the much publicized alleged corrupt activities involving businessperson Zuneth Sattar and his associates is yet another critical juncture we need, as a country, to carefully reflect on if the approach we have taken will really reach the desired goal of uprooting corruption in the country.
In the first place, we need to accept, as a matter of fact, that for corruption to take place, there are always two parties: the corruptor and the corruptee.
In fact, the Corrupt Practices Act is very clear that if corruption has taken place and facts have been established, both two parties—the giver and the taker—are up for prosecution.
Unfortunately, in all the years we have been fighting corruption, we have always suffered the malaise of targeting, through immediate arrests and public exposure, business people who supplies to government; at the same time, hiding and protecting public officers who facilitates, approves, certifies and awards government contracts.
Let’s face facts, fellow Malawians; Sattar and his associates are business people with a goal of growing their reach and contributing to the development of this country. For them to get business from government, they go through the normal process of procurement as provided in the country’s Public Procurement and commencement Disposal of Public Assets Act
The shocking aspect to this take, unfortunately, is that at every suspicion, Sattar and his associates are quickly arrested, exposed in press statements and peddled in public yet public officers—who facilitates, approves, certifies and awards government contracts—are barely arrested, or when arrested, they hardly exposed in public domain.
For instance, we hear of investigations with regards to how business person Sattar and his associates supplied equipment to Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
What we know about these investigations is that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has already peddled in public the name of Sattar and his associates. What we don’t know, and I don’t know if we will ever know, are the names of public officers at MDF and MPS facilitates, approves, certifies and awards.
By now, we should have been knowing that MDF boss Vincent Nundwe and Police chief George Kainja have been summoned by ACB to explain their side. Or perhaps, they were summoned already but ACB is keeping a tight lip? But whichever way, one wonders: Why is ACB doing this?
We can’t face the war against corruption and think of winning if our approach stops at targeting certain business people whom, even before launching investigations on them, we suspect they are corrupt, as such, before we take them to court we should arrest and expose them to the public for purposes of creating public animosity against them.
That is malice not justice.
ACB boss Martha Chizuma should do the public justice by telling the nation what is happening. Everyone involved these investigations must be exposed—the way businessperson Sattar and his associates have been exposed.