In January this year, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) denied the ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau) consent to start prosecuting Zuneth Sattar’s agent, Ashok Nair, in a corruption related case. The fallout has been subject of public discussion, at some point leading to Minister of Justice intervening between the two parties. Now the DPP has penned ACB for updates on some cases.
The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has written the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) seeking updates on progress and status of some high-profile cases that the office consented for prosecution.
In a letter dated June 8, 2022 copied to the offices of Chief Justice and Attorney General, reference number DPP/ADMN/ACB/2022/06, DPP Steven Kayuni is requesting progress reports from ACB on some old files that are before courts, pending prosecution.
“The DPP, bearing the sole overall constitutional and statutory responsibility for all prosecutions in the country, appointed prosecutors and granted consent to prosecute several matters touching on the Corrupt Practices Act.
“There are numerous investigations that the ACB has undertaken and some of them are likely to be in court. Considering that the letter granting consent requested for submission of regular reports on the progress of the cases therein. We would like to have the status of these matters and further possible direction on how these matters can be expedited. We thus advise your good office to grant the DPP copies of the following files urgently,” the letter reads.
The DPP asks for status of the Kenya embassies investigation on assets disposal, the Mulli Bus Depot and workshops purchase, Bingu deceased estate, Beautify Malawi Trust, Medef loan fund, Malawi Railways sale, Faizal Aboo criminal case, Bakili Muluzi case, Mombera University criminal proceedings and Norman Chisale’s unexplained wealth proceedings cases.
Kayuni told Malawi News that issues that have consent to prosecute granted always carry with it a requirement to report progress of the matters.
“Any prosecutor appointed or granted consent has that duty not to sit back but to move the case in court and report progress,” he said.
Asked for a comment, ACB Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala said she needed more time to respond to the questionnaire.
Moses Mkandawire, Church and Society of Livingstonia Synod of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Executive Director who is also National Anti-Corruption Alliance chairperson, said he agrees with the DPP’s request.
He said Malawians would appreciate details on the number of cases that ACB had submitted for consent as well as number of cases that were consented to, period or date consented.
“It will definitely help us know the seriousness, efficiency and effectiveness of these institutions in addressing these matters. It will help, to a large extent, to demystify the public perception that exists towards the operational frameworks of the stated institutions,” Mkandawire said.