Analysts speak on Chakwera's corruption stance as he benches Chilima

Chakwera, Sattar and Chilima

Legal minds, social commentators have chimed in on President Lazarus Chakwera's tough stance on corruption after he revoked delegating powers for his Vice President Saulos Chilima.

He also fired Inspector General of Police George Kainja and suspended his Chief of Staff at State Residences Prince Kapondamgaga and John Suzi Banda, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) chief. 

This follows a report into investigations by the Anti Corruption  Bureau led by Martha Chizuma in collaboration with the British Criminal Intelligence Agency into alleged corruption in the government orchestrated by Malawian-UK businessman, Zuneth Sattar.

Related article

Chakwera Bites: Benches Chilima, fires IG, suspends others

Political and social analyst, Wonderful Mkhutche noted that some people are already defending politicians on this issue but pointed out the fight is against corruption and not individuals.

"If as citizens we want to do away with corruption in this country, we have to be ready to change our minds on politicians we once trusted. This is not to implicate anyone, but just as we tell government not to be selective in its fight against corruption, so must we."

His opinion comes as people have suggested Chakwera used the report to do away with Chilima who was a kingmaker in the fresh elections to oust the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The news that Chilima is implicated in shady dealings with Sattar has trended on social media with people saying the person who promised one million jobs just lost his job.

Lawyer Khumbo Soko said legally accusing people of wronging doing in public court is wrong calling it "irresponsible and unfair."

"Don't charge people in the court of public opinion. They will be convicted even before they take plea. Instead, if you really believe in your story, let it be taken through the harsh furnace of a litigation process."

Another top-shot lawyer, Slyvester Ayuba James said there is need for all the 84 names that are said to be on the list to be put out and not selective.

James explaining why Chakwera was visibly mad at the ACB Director said the President's track record on sitting on reports is what made her share it with other arms of government citing the COVID-19 reports.

Addressing the issue of the report being substandard, James put it into legal context saying under Section 4(4) of the Corrupt Practices Act, the only kind of reports the President is entitled to are general conduct reports of the bureau's business.

"He has no power to ask for a special report of investigation over a particular case. Yet what he asked for three weeks ago, perhaps out his own misapprehension of the Law, was exactly a special investigation report. In this way, he asked the Bureau to break the law by supplying to him what he is not qualified to have and see.

"In order to avoid breaching the law, the Bureau gave him a general report without details of evidence. It gave him what he is entitled to and kept the rest to its chest."

Malawi is now waiting on the next course of action the Bureau is going to take; whether it will release the report as suggested by Chakwera, take a position on Chilima and whether arrests will be made.