The Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) has written the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate alleged political interference at the Roads Authority (RA).
In a letter jointly signed by HRCC board chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba and board chairperson Desmond Mhango dated September 27 2021 to ACB director general Martha Chizuma, the civil society organisation (CSO) said it has credible information to that effect.
Reads the letter in part: “The allegations are to the effect that since the coming in of the new Roads Authority board of directors, there has been persistent pressure from Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi for it to fire the RA management and replace it with political loyalists believably with an intention to benefit financially through theft and corrupt dealings.
“We have been privy to a memo from one member of staff to the deputy board chairperson who communicated the official position of the authorities on the RA management; hence, was persuading the board to act in the best interest of the appointing authority.”
The letter alleges that on September 21 2021, Chikhosi summoned RA board of directors to persuade them to dismiss its management before September 27 2021 or else face removal from the board.
While describing the scenario as unfortunate, the letter states that the alleged acts are unfair to ordinary Malawians who expect professionalism from such State institutions.
Chikhosi did not pick up our calls on numerous attempts yesterday, but Chizuma acknowledged receiving the letter.
In a brief interview yesterday, she said: “It [the complaint] will be subjected to a normal screening process [just like any other complaints].”
In recent years, CSOs in the country have stepped up their whistleblowing mandate to help ACB in fighting corruption.
The efforts are part of the ACB’s National Anti-corruption Strategy II (NACS-II) to activate the functions of Institutional Integrity Committees to fight corruption.
The CSOs are among the 12 pillars in the strategy.
Government through ACB is implementing NACS-II 2019- 2024 in institutions across the country to provide a common approach in the fight against corruption.
NACS-II is a continuation of the anti-corruption drive that commenced with the NACS of 2008.