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Leave Martha Chizuma alone— Lazarus Chakwera

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By Deogratias Mmana

President Lazarus Chakwera Monday said Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma should be left alone to discharge her mandate of fighting corruption in the country.

Chakwera urged all institutions involved in the fight against corruption to support the ACB instead of working against it.

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He said this last evening when he addressed the press at Kamuzu Palace on issues to do with his four-day Mozambique visit.

The President was asked to comment on the reported poor working relationship between the Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda and Chizuma.

“Allow the ACB Director General to do her work. Anyone frustrating the fight against corruption is fighting against me,” Chakwera said.

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“If I, as President, don’t dictate to the Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General on what to do, I do not want a politician or [Cabinet] minister to interfere with her work,” Chakwera said as he answered a question on whether he was shielding some people in the ongoing Zuneth Sattar corruption case.

The President said that he wanted all the government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to be functional and efficient for the good of the country

The Malawi Police Service was set to interrogate Chizuma on Friday on a leaked audio in which a person purported to be her and another person discuss the Zuneth Sattar corruption investigation. The interrogation was aborted by the High Court.

Commenting on the pastoral letter from Nkhoma Synod, which was read on Sunday in all their churches, Chakwera said he would simply take the advice and recommendations from the epistle.

He refused to rate himself after ruling for close to two years, even after the Nkhoma Synod and Episcopal Conference of Malawi pastoral letters had attacked his administration.

Chakwera took a swipe at some MDAs for failing to function as expected.

An example was the failure by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to account for funds used for hosting the 41st Southern African Development Community summit that took place in August 2021.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nancy Tembo sent a note to Chakwera and the President communicated that the ministry would issue a statement on the funds in the course of the week.

“If a system is not functional it will reflect on the President. Utilise Access to Information law to get information and report to me where you are not helped,” he said.

The President admitted that there was a problem with forex availability in the country, saying he is waiting for Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe and Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor

Wilson Banda to return from the United States, where they have gone for talks on the same.

“I do accept that there is forex crisis,” he said.

Reacting to remarks by Vice President Saulos Chilima that it was time for the Tonse Alliance agreement to be made public, Chakwera said that would happen after all alliance partners meet and agree to do so.

The President, who had earlier on in the day inspected crops in Nkhotakota District, justified his crop inspection tours, saying farmers on the ground found them valuable.

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