Those of us aged twice the age of our 25 year-old multiparty democracy knew that the complaint lodged by the Chief Justice to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) relating to attempted bribing of some, or all, of the five judges handling the 2019 presidential elections case would not be investigated until after the year of our Lord 9999.
We believe the Chief Justice reported the alleged attempted bribery for the sake of washing his hands clean, like the famous Pontius Pilate, and telling this nation, “Look, I did my part”.
Yes, our Lord, you have done your part. And thank you.
Those on WhatsApp and other social media platforms must have accessed a video purportedly containing the voice and image of a traditional chief, in a blue suit. It says it all. In it, the man scathingly describes the ACB as a failed and biased institution that targets the poor while the rich, the real thieves, are spared.
In Malawi, the man says, justice favours the rich and is against the poor. Those who steal chickens, goats, tree seedlings, flowers, cow dung, hog manure, cha abambo,and other inconsequential items are rotting in jail.
If you think the man is joking, go to Maula, Chichiri, Kasungu, Zomba, Mzuzu, Chikwawa and Mulanje prisons. The prisons are congested with petty thieves while those who stole K260 billion died happily and you know them.
Those who stole and pocketed farm tractors and maize shellers were forced to apologise using taxpayer’s money and they are there still enjoying themselves, drinking fantakoko and using the very tractors they lied, under oath, were faulty. There are there and you know their names. Some have even been promoted for being such nice tractorgators.
If you have forgotten the story and the actors read the Ombudsman’s tractorgate investigation report tellingly titled the Present Toiling; the Future Overburdened.
One former ACB director is on record as having told this toiling nation that one third of the budget or resources or both are wasted through corruption. What this means is that nearlyK600 billion kwacha of the Mwanamvekha 2019-2020 K1.7 trillion budget will be stolen.
We know this because the ACB said it and nobody, ‘Biggie’ or‘Smallie’ has ever contradicted the said ACB assertion.
A senior High Court judge was once quoted as revealing that even in the Justice System there is ‘a lot’ of corruption. If you don’t believe us, google and read the Nation Online.
Once upon a time, in 2005 His Excellency Moya Ngwazi Professor Dr Binguwa Mutharika saw in a young handsome light-skinned man a fine lawyer and anti-corruption crusader. The young handsome man was appointed director of the ACB. The young ACB director read the terms of reference of his office and understood that the law gave him authority to work independently.
Then, independently, the ACB director did the undoable. The ACB arrested His Excellency Ngwazi Dr Bakili Muluzi over allegations that the former head of our great State of Malawi had misappropriated $11 million or K8.0 billion in today’s depreciated national currency.
The man who appointed the ACB director and told him to work independently was furious that the ACB Director had independently ordered the arrest of someone suspected of diverting public resources into his personal and private estate. Where in the world does an appointee work independently of an appointing authority? The great Ngwazi asked himself publicly and angrily.
As expected, the fine lawyer and anticorruption crusader was fired for arresting the very man the very president was publicly virulently blackening as a public thief. Instead, the Ngwazi went to Mangochi and named the Japanese funded and constructed bridge over the Shire and the road going through Namwera and Ntanja to Liwonde after the very man the president had been accusing of grand corruption.
Is that now clear why the ACB must disband?