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ACB investigates Parliament

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Catherine Gotani Hara

Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) Director-General Reyneck Matemba has confirmed that the bureau is receiving so many complaints of alleged malpractices since the change of government following the June 23 fresh presidential election.

“We are receiving complaints almost on daily basis. We are getting some of the complaints ourselves from the social and mainstream media while other complaints are coming to our offices by various individuals and organisations such as the Human Rights Defenders Coalition [HRDC],” Matemba said.

He also admitted that it is impossible for the bureau to process all the complaints at once, saying they are prioritising them as they come.

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“We have what we call prioritising matrix. We look at the amount of money involved, the profile of the personalities involved, the likelihood of success if we investigate and prosecute them and also the frequency of the complaints received,” Matemba said.

ACB is today expected to write HRDC to update them on the progress made so far on the complaints the coalition has been presenting following its whistle-blowing initiative which has seen people tipping the rights body on alleged malpractices.

“By midday Monday [today], I expect to receive reports from all our investigation teams with respect to the progress made so far on all the cases that we have received from you for investigations.

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“I will thereafter compile/ consolidate those reports for onward submission to you for your information and, if necessary, for you to provide feedback to the individuals that are graciously providing information, tips, and intelligence to you through the whistleblower initiative,” reads part of the letter Matemba wrote to HRDC.

The rights body’s Chairperson Gift Trapence welcomed the bureau’s decision to update them on the reported complaints. “We are happy that ACB is taking time to update us on the matter. Our whistle-blowing initiative continues and we hope this will continue. It is important that ACB updates HRDC and more importantly the public what they have done on the complaints raised,” Trapence said.

Among others, HRDC reported alleged practices suspected to have happened at the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority, construction of Kam’mwamba Coal Fired Electricity Plant deal and circumstances under which Public Service Trust Fund appointed Zamara Pension Administrators Limited as administrators of public service pension funds in the country.

Meanwhile, Matemba has disclosed that the bureau is investigating allegations of procurement fraud at the National Assembly where, among others, a contract was allegedly awarded to someone who died some years ago and goods such as memory sticks were heavily overpriced.

“I have spoken with Speaker of Parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara, who brought this issue to my attention last week Friday.

The Clerk of Parliament also called me on the same issue. They both asked ACB to look into this allegation as a matter of urgency. We have therefore taken up this matter and we will pursue it to find out what happened,” Matemba said.

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