The country’s graft-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), is, at long last, in the news for the right reasons.
The bureau finally moved to arrest fired Roads Authority Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Hiwa, for allegedly awarding a contract to his own company, Infracon Limited, for the design and supervision of construction works of various roads in the Central and Southern regions.
While ACB does not need to be applauded for doing what it was set up for, we are relieved that someone suspected of abusing his office for personal gain will be made to answer charges.
ACB’s failure to move with speed on matters that appear to harbour all ingredients of corrupt practices has been, to say the least, baffling.
The bureau has, on more occasions than one, dilly-dallied in acting on matters that clearly border on corrupt practices.
This has led to Malawians losing trust in the body which has the responsibility of making this land corrupt-free.
Other quarters have even labelled it a toothless bull dog that chooses to grow teeth only when it is ordinary citizens or members of the opposition answering charges of corruption.
It has been said that ACB grows cold feet when it is a Democratic Progressive Party or government official suspected of the vice.
To this day, nobody knows when suspects of the Zambia maize saga will be arrested like Hiwa.
Those involved in the Mera-Admarc maize purchase scam continue to roam our streets with all their freedom.
And how about the files of the alleged culprits of the K577 billion scam that continue to gather dust at ACB offices? When shall we know who was involved in siphoning our hard-earned taxpayers’ money?
The Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority scam also remains without anyone being taken to book. Just firing the responsible officers is not enough. Someone must be arrested and answer charges in a court of law.
ACB has a long list of cases of corruption that remain hanging. It is time for the graft-busting to retain the trust of Malawians by finalising investigations with speed and arresting the suspects.
Otherwise, corruption will continue to dent our image and Malawi will slip further down on the corruption index.
ACB must arrest more big fish and the time is now!
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