Malawi: ACB Chief Pleads for Patience Over Judges Bribery Attempts in Malawi Poll Case

21 January 2020

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba has once again pleaded for patience on the disclosure of names of those who allegedly wanted to bribe Constitutional Court judges tackling a case linked to a controversial election which handed President Peter Mutharika a second term.

Matemba surrounded by MDF soldiers: Malawians should give ACB more time

Matemba has said this following the expiry of the 48 hour ultimatum issued by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) for the graft busting body to disclose the names.

"Malawians should give the bureau more time. They will know the suspects very soon," he said.

He said the names would be known after the bureau obtains a warrant of arrest to start the prosecution process of the suspects.

Legal commentator Justin Dzonzi said the bureau could face a lawsuit on defamation and character assassination if it just goes ahead to disclose the names.

ACB said it had received a complaint from Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda in November 2019 alleging bribes had been offered to the five judges presiding over the case.

The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the UTM Party have said the May 21 poll last year was marred by fraud.

Mutharika narrowly won, beating MCP candidate Lazarus Chakwera by 159,000 votes.

UTM candidate Saulos Chilima came third with 20.24 percent.

Mutharika has dismissed doubts on the official results, which show he won 38.57 percent of the vote to Chakwera's 35.41 percent.

A ruling by the Constitutional Court is expected by the end of January.

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