HRDC challenges DPP on case delays


By Mandy Potani

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has written the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) complaining over the delay in prosecution of fraud and corruption cases involving high-profile individuals.

In a letter signed by HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence, the coalition of civil society organisations expresses dismay that, after arrest of several individuals who held top positions in
the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, none of them has gone into full


This, they say, is raising questions on whether the arrests were on merit or politically motivated.

“HRDC is concerned about the current state of affairs. The questions we ask are: Whether the arrests were without merit? Whether some suspects are being shielded by the so called ‘system’? Whether our law-enforcement agencies have requisite expertise to professionally prosecute such high-profile cases?” reads the letter in part.

When contacted, DPP Mary Kachale referred us to spokesperson in Ministry of Justice Pirirani Masanjala, who acknowledged receipt of the letter but refused to comment, saying they have duly responded to the concerns in writing.


But Trapence said they are yet to get the copy of
the letter, saying when they do, Malawians will be updated on its contents.

In the HRDC letter, which has, among other officers, been copied to Director General of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Reyneck Matemba, HRDC cites arrests of former security aide to former president Peter Mutharika, Norman Chisale, Collins Magalasi of Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority and Roza Mbilizi of Malawi Revenue Authority as those that are of concern.

Matemba confirmed receiving the letter yesterday but refused to comment, saying it is Kachale’s call to do so.

“We are receiving concerns from Malawians regarding the conduct of law enforcement in ‘draining the swamp’, they feel the way forward is transparency in how your office and the others copied herein are handling these cases,” the letter adds.

In a follow-up telephone interview, Trapence said, as an organisation, they stand in between the public and the suspects who are also interested to see their cases reach a logical conclusion.

During his inauguration on July 6 in Lilongwe, President Lazarus Chakwera promised to clear the rubble of corruption in Malawi which he said has in recent decades ruined the country’s taxes.

Since then, there have been high-profile arrests
of suspects of fraud and corruption by both Malawi Police Service and ACB, on which Malawians anxiously wait for justice to take its course.

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