Malawi: Matemba Hints On Malawi Supreme Court Judge As Suspect in Bribery Case

15 January 2020

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba on Tuesday found himself inadvertently hinting that a member of the Judiciary was under investigations in connection with the alleged bribery attempts on five-judges of the High Court who are yet to make a determination as Constitutional Court in landmark presidential election case.

Matemba: We will get to the bottom of the issue

He told a news conference in the capital Lilongwe that one of the people involved "is a senior member of one of the arms of government" and "another one is from the private sector."

Social media has been awash with a name of the Supreme Court Judge and Matemba gave a clue.

While responding to a question from a journalist,the ACB chief revealed that "a supreme court judge" was "involved," a speculation that has already been rife in the public domain.

"If that was the case [to arrest suspects before investigations are concluded]. The Chief Justice coul also have proceeded with discipilinary proceedings against the member of the Judiciary," said Matemba .

Matemba, flanked by his deputy Eliah Bodole, held steadfast that he would not reveal the exact names of the suspects as it was illegal.

Said Matemba: "The Chief Justice [Andrew Nyirenda] asked us to investigate. He would have disciplined this judiciary Officer himself."

Nyasa Times understands that the Chief Justice had names the senior judicial officer and a prominent businessperson as accomplices in seeking corruption justice.

Former Malawi Law Society president John-Gift Mwakhwawa has since said the bribery allegations might not have affects on the proceeding of the case, saying the revelations reflect the independence of the Judiciary.

He said by reporting the matter to ACB, the Judiciary has shown that they were independent and that the other arms of government should take the allegations seriously.

Said Mwakhwawa: "These allegations are coming from the head of one arm of government and they should be taken serious."

He also asked ACB to release names of individuals who attempted to bribe the judges, saying, so far, there was no legal justification to conceal their identities.

Said Mwakhwawa: "Malawians need to know the people behind the attempt to bribe the judges."

During the news conference, Matemba also lost his cool when a question about his integrity arose.

"May be you don't know. I turned down the appointment of Director General of ACB before. In fact, I was not appointed by President Peter Mutharika, I was appointed by former President Joyce Banda," said a visibly agitated Matemba.

He added: "In fact my contract is coming to an end this year and I will not renew it. I am going. Maybe Malawians will get a Director who will have their trust."

But journalist and commentator Idriss Ali Nassah had reservations on Matemba turning emotional at the press briefing.

"It is utterly disgraceful for the Director of the country's Anti-Corruption Bureau to turn this very grave matter into something about himself: [like that] I went to Chancellor College, I was appointed by Joyce Banda, I wont be jobless... .and so?" wrote Nassah on his Facebook wall.

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