Malawi Has a New Anti-Corruption Czar - Her Name Is Martha Chizuma

The Public Appointments Committee (PAC), meeting on Monday, has eventually confirmed ombudsman Martha Chizuma as director general for graft-busting body the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) after it had earlier rejected her with abysmal scores.

Last week PAC, using a scoring procedure during interview confirmation, scored Chizuma 14.9 which was less than the minimum 17 mark required for her to be confirmed for the ACB job.

But her rejection did not amuse Malawians, including the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) which threatened a march to parliament on Tuesday, May 18 and Dowa North West Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislator and chief whip who gave a notice Sunday that a motion to rescind the decision of not confirming Chizuma be moved in the PAC meeting slated for Monday, May 17.

Nyasa Times can confirm that out of the members present during the Monday meeting, 12 voted in favour of Chizuma's confirmation; 1 abstained and 4 members of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) walked out, according to PAC chairperson Joyce Chitsulo.

Chitsulo said she was "personally happy, and I have been saying this that I for one would love to see Chizuma confirmed."

She said the walking out of the 4 DPP members was ineffectual because the quorum formed.

Writing on his Facebook page, Stanley Onjezani Kenani, simply said: "We took the fight to the wire--and won."

A member of the Bar Association of Malawi, Women Lawyers Association of Malawi and Women Judges Association of Malawi (founding member and ex-officio), Martha Chizuma holds a Master of Law degree in International Economic Law from the University of East London and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College.

She has practised law for 18 years having previously worked with Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company as Legal Counsel, Deputy Chairperson of Industrial Relations Court (IRC), Assistant Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal and Senior Resident Magistrate.

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