Diplomats of western countries have told President Lazarus Chakwera to start fighting corruption and to let the Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) do its job.
Chakwera met the diplomats yesterday in a meeting which lasted over four hours from 2pm to around 6pm.
According to the Investigator Magazine, diplomats representing United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Japan told Chakwera to show willingness in fighting corruption or his administration should forget about getting aid.
“The messages were two fold. Hands off ACB let it do its job and that he should demonstrate that he is fighting corruption and not just mere talk. They told him they expect Martha Chizuma to be left alone,” a diplomatic source was quoted as saying by the Investigator Magazine.
Chakwera who was with several cabinet ministers during the meeting is reported to have insisted that he had followed procedure by asking Secretary to the State Colleen Zamba to interdict Chizuma.
The Platform for Investigative Journalism reported yesterday that Chakwera resolved to suspend Chizuma after a senior government lied to him that the ACB had obtained an arrest warrant against his wife, First Monica Chakwera, and son, Nick Chakwera.
But the ACB said it did not receive any complaint against the First Lady and it was not investigating Nick Chakwera.
However, Zamba who wrote the letter suspending Chizuma, is facing corruption allegations made by former National Oil Company of Malawi chief executive officer Helen Buma. Zamba is alleged to have pressurized Buluma to offer fuel supply contracts to companies favoured by Zamba.
Meanwhile, legal scholars have argued that Zamba has no powers to suspend the ACB director.
According to professor of law Danwood Chirwa, while Chakwera has such powers under S 6(3) of the Corrupt Practices Act, he cannot delegate the powers.
“Zamba has clearly usurped the authority of the President. Her letter is unlawful and therefore void,” said Chirwa in a Facebook post.
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