Malawi: PAC MPs Allegedly Received K4m to Frustrate Chizuma's Confirmation

Some members of Public Affairs of Parliament (PAC) are alleged to have received K4 million each as bribe to turn down the confirmation of Martha Chizuma as the new director of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ABC)

According to information that has emerged, it is alleged that some legislators who are in the Public Affairs Committee had attended a secret dinner party in the opulent low-density Area 9 in the capital, Lilongwe.

It is claimed that the suspected MPs received K4 million from some a group of Asian business magnets to reject the fearless legal bulldozer, Chizuma to be gaffer of the country's graft busting body for fear of being busted and prosecution for corruption.

The allegations also indicate that there was a cabinet minister in attendance at the dinner, which is purportedly hosted by one Asian influential business tycoon (name withheld)

Nyasa Times, however, understands that it is not only the opposition that jinxed Chizuma's confirmation but also legislators from the ruling Tonse Alliance.

An impeccable source, a Member of Parliament privy to the scheme who opted for anonymity said the plot to reject Chizuma is thicker and deeper than what is on the surface.

"This not about politics. It is about a criminal enterprise protecting their interests because they know if Chizuma ascends to the pinnacle of ACB, they will all be going to prison," said the parliamentarian.

The law maker added: "It is really sad that we have a criminal cartel that is committed to frustrate the fight against corruption in the country. This must be a lesson to Dr. Chakwera not to over-trust anyone.

The legislator said what has happened in Chizuma's case goes to show us that our public officers put their selves first before national interests.

Social media commentator of the 'Ulonda wa lero mantra, Charles Ulaya of Ulaya Classics, demanded on his social media platform, Facebook, that " these allegations must be investigated in order to get down to the bottom of the matter.

Said Ulaya: "We cannot sabotage or allowed State capture by people who are fearing to be prosecuted. We have wasted our time already and we should not continue wasting time. These are serious allegations which should not be blushed off."

'The Demands'

Meanwhile, intrepid and fearless social media influencer and crack investigative journalist Idriss Ali Nassah, using Freedom of Information (FIA), have requested a full report of the PAC - Chizuma confirmation interview.

Nasser emailed PAC chairperson Joyce Chitsulo on the matter and she responded to confirm receipt of Nassah's communication saying, she would get back to him, soonest.

Nassah posted on his Facebook wall: "The Honourable Ms Joyce Chitsulo, MP, the chairperson of Parliament's Public Appointments Committee, has assured that we will be hearing from her soon. For that, we are very grateful."

In the email, Nassah is demanding PAC to furnish him with the following information, Using the Access to Information law, for

names and number of MPs present throughout the confirmation proceedings.

Nassah also wants information on the guidelines or parameters provided to the MPs prior and during the confirmation process and also all recordings of the confirmation process, including the score-sheets of each individual MP and their recorded reasons for the scores.

He said: "I am fortified in my belief that the committee has nothing to hide, and therefore shall promptly and voluntarily provide the requested information. Truth will emerge through full disclosure of how the process was done."

Martin Kanjadza writing on his Facebook said: "What happened here is like asking thieves to appoint an inspector General of Police?

"In the same vein, did we expect our corrupt MPs to confirm an appointment of an ACB director?

"I think, we joke too much in this country," he added. "this is nothing but sheer sabotage against the wheels of justice."

President Chakwera on Wednesday accused PAC members when he addressed Parliament of sabotaging his concerted efforts in the fight against the corruption cancer that for long has been eating the fibre of the Malawian society.

'The Scores'

During the interview, it is said that, a total of 18 out of 21 members of PAC were available and, after aggregating the rating, it transpired that Chizuma scored 14.9 out of 25.

The minimum pass rate is 17 scores.

It transpired, however, that out of the 18 members that participated in the interview, nine scored her 25 out of 25 while the remaining nine scored Chizuma one out of 25.

However, a source within Pac told The Daily Times that, despite Chizuma's classic performance during the meeting, it was surprising that some members scored her low even on qualification when it was clear that she was qualified.

During Tuesday's interview, a total of 18 out of 21 members of Pac were available and, after aggregating the rating, it transpired that Chizuma scored 14.9 out of 25. The minimum pass rate is 17 scores.

It transpired that, out of the 18 members that participated in the interview, nine scored her 25 out of 25 while the remaining nine scored Chizuma one out of 25.

"In a normal interview, if a candidate meets the prerequisite qualification set, it is automatic to give the interview the highest score in that section.

"It was, however, surprising that some members scored Chizuma one even when it was clear that she qualified," said the source.

The source said that It was utterly shocking that some members scored Chizuma one out of twenty-five even when it was clear that she is more than qualified," said the legislator."

Government spokesperson Gospel Kazako described Chizuma's rejection as confirmation that corruption is deep-rooted in the country.

Kazako said: "We are not going to get emotional about Chizuma's rejection and would not relent in the fight against the vice."

Among many other things, Chizuma had promised that if confirmed as ACB director, she would use ACB to make Malawians uncomfortable with corruption.

"I would like to see Malawians getting uncomfortable with corruption," Chizuma said.

Following her rejection, Chizuma returns to her job as the Ombudsman.

Vocal social justice and human rights activist and private practice lawyer, John-Gift Mwakhwawa said:

"Parliamentarians are elected to represent the people and in that regard, it means that they must do what the people want.

"Therefore, the people of Malawi wants Martha Chizuma to be the ACB director and so she must be. It is that simple."

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