Malawi: ACB 'Favours the Corrupt Rich' - T/a Sitola Speech Earns Plaudits

12 December 2018

Traditional Authority (T/A) Sitola ofMachinga is getting plaudits for speaking candidly on behalf of masses when told the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) that the graft-busting body favours the rich and that there is selective prosecution in graft cases.

Chief Sitola says ACB is a institutionalising corruption

The influential Machinga chief said the rich are given bail just hours of their arrest than the poor who struggle to get bail. And that their cases stall.

Chief Sitola of Machinga said this on Tuesday in the district where he was guest of honour at a meeting organized by the ACB to sensitize people on the evils of corruption which people say is reaching unprecedented levels in the country.

"You, ACB, you are bringing your messages to us the rural populations for what? Is it us the poor who are corrupt? It's the rich who are corrupt, because you never succeed in outing the rich behind bars for their corruption.

" Prisons are full of poor people. When we hear that ACB has arrested a rich man today, the same day he is released," said the chief.

This was an indirect reference to the arrest of an Indianbusiness tycoon Zameer Karim who was arrested along with police commissioner Innocent Botomani for allegedly stealing K3 billion in a police food rationsdeal.

Karim donated K145 million to the ruling DemocraticProgressive Party (DPP) bank account as well as five vehicles worth K85 million.

Chief Sitola did not mince words at the function, but told the ACB officials that they were corrupt.

"When we hear that ACB has arrested a rich man today, the same day he is released. You are ones who are corrupt," he said in his no holds barred speech.

Meanwhile, in Lilongwe, only three members of parliament turned up for a meeting with ACB officials who wanted to sensitize them on the new Corrupt Practices Act.

Most of the legislators did not turn up after learning that the ACB would not offer allowances for the meeting.

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