ACB accused of arresting people before investigations

By Linda Kwanjana

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has come under criticism for arbitrary arrest of people before concluding investigations.

Venting his frustrations on ACB, lawyer Justin Dzodzi has described the arrest of people before thorough investigations as emotional torture.

Dzonzi said arresting people without investigations does not only destroy reputation of the arrested individuals but also affects their wellbeing.

He said: “Any arrest made must be on the basis that an offence was committed. Arresting and prosecuting must always bear in mind that an arrest destroys one’s reputation and affects one’s livelihoods.”

Martha Chizuma’s ACB faulted

Concuring with Dzonzi is the Malawi Law Society (MLS), with its President Patrick Mpaka expressing concern over a snail’s pace at which corruption cases have been handled by the ACB.

He said that the expectation of the law is that investigations should preceed the arrests.

He said it is irregular for ACB to arrest people on suspicions then commencing investigations.

“There no justifications to connect someone to a criminal court case or make an arrest then take forever to bring that person to court,” said Mpaka.

Last year the ACB went on arresting several top government officials. Toping the list was the State Vice President Saulos Chilima for allegedly receiving bribes from businessman Zunneth Sattar who is accused of bribing his way to get business contracts.

The Martha Chizuma’s-led ACB has particularly come under criticism from Malawians for not doing enough in the fight against corruption in the three years of her leadership despite ascending to power with pomp.


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