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Malawi Law Society frowns at Anti-Corruption Bureau interference

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Chrispin Ngunde

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has condemned attempts by some people in authority to influence the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in its investigation of businessman Zuneth Sattar into suspected corrupt practices.

In a statement, which MLS President Patrick Mpaka and Honorary Secretary Chrispin Ngunde, the society says the graft-busting body has to operate independently of any office or person.

The statement says MLS has obtained information suggesting attempts by certain State actors and some individuals at influencing, interfering, directing or misdirecting the bureau on how to conduct its functions in the investigations concerning alleged corrupt dealings by the said businessman.

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Recently, courts have issued two rulings concerning investigations surrounding Sattar – one refusing a media gag and the other denying him a restraining order that sought to stop the ACB from cooperating with the United Kingdom’s investigative agencies.

The society reminds all State actors in all the three branches of government that all legal and political authority of the State derives from the people of Malawi as a whole to serve and protect their interests.

“The Malawi Law Society states that any direct or indirect interference or any form of direction to the Anti-Corruption Bureau by any person or officeholder present or past in regards to the conduct of functions of the bureau is an illegality and does not promote the rule of law or protect the public interest in seeking to curb corruption and develop the country for all, “the statement reads.

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“The Malawi Law Society states that any direct or indirect interference or any form of direction to the Anti-Corruption Bureau by any person or officeholder present or past in regards to the conduct of functions of the bureau is an illegality and does not promote the rule of law or protect the public interest in seeking to curb corruption and develop the country for all,” the statement reads.

However, in a telephone interview Ngunde said ACB Director Martha Chizuma has not complained to the society formerly or otherwise but they have information of attempts to interfere with the bureau in its work and that is why they are reminding stakeholders that the bureau has to be independent of anybody.

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