Martha Chizuma, the reigning ombudswoman whom all right-thinking Malawians and foreigners c o n s i d e r t h e m o s t powerful and committed anticorruption crusader Malawi has ever produced since 1994 was last week rejected by the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament as director of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Some wrong-thinking Malawians have argued that members of the PAC voted with their individual consciences and that it is not the first time PAC has rejected presidential nominees for similar senior positions.
For instance, they argue, the late Mary Nangwale’s appointment as Inspector General of Malawi Police Service was once upon a time rejected. These wrong-thinking Malawians wonder what is special about Chizuma not to be rejected.
Well, we right-thinking members of the Bottom Up expedition led by our right-thinking indefatigable Genuine Prof Dr Joyce Befu, MEGA-1, know why Chizuma is special. And we will tell you in very simple language.
She is one of the very few Malawian heads of democracy pillar or integrity instit u t ions that take their responsibilities and leadership roles seriously and have deliver. That is why we, right-thinkers, want her to head the ACB.
S i n c e Ap r i l 2 018 , the ombudswoman has handled more than 50 complaints and cases, including Tractorgate, Covidgate, Meragate and Macragate.
When perpet rator s of Tractorgate were sanctioned; some wrong-thinking legal quarters accused her of overreach. However, she fought on up to the High Court or was it Supreme Court, which agreed with her that the Office of the Ombudsman had the authority to issue orders and sanctions.
Recently, Ombusdwoman Chizuma investigated maladministration at Macra. She sanctioned some and ‘acquitted’ others.
Such a morally upright and ethical individual is special in a country where corruption is considered normal; where potholes are left unfilled but money is spent on contracts, where ghosts like Black and Veach can siphon K8.0 billion from Kammwamba Coal/Thermal-Powered Electricity Company and disappear without trace; where a whole First Lady’s charity worth millions, if not billions, of kwacha in cash and in assets can just disappear like a chipiyo feather in a whirlwind.
Ours is a country where tribe, religious and political affiliations count more than academic and professional qualification and experience in getting jobs.
Some graduates fail even to be called for interviews in Malawi. Some graduates fail even to be acknowledged when they apply for mere K80 000 per month internships in Malawi. Yet, in the same Malawi, graduates whose surnames sound politically and tribally better and tantalising are recruited; even transferred between posts as they wish.
In this same Malawi, where jobs for youths are scarce, some are employed before being interviewed.
M a r t h a C h i z u m a represents the aspirations of right-thinking Malawians who want an end to corruption, bribery, tribalism and other negative isms. Martha Chizuma speaks for us, the right-thinking average Malawians. Martha Chizuma embodies the spirit of leading from the front. Martha Chizuma is a field marshal who takes citizen complaints seriously, investigates, analyses issues, applies the law, draws conclusions and makes ‘determinations’.
W r o n g – t h i n k i n g Malawians, if you did not know why we, right-thinking Malawians want her to lead the ACB now you know.
We know you know that Fahad Assani revealed some years back that more 30 percent of Malawi’s money is stolen by politicians and civil servants. Now, you know why we are angry.
If you did not know why we will join the HRDC to demonstrate to parliament and vigil there until Martha Chizuma is confirmed in her appoint as ACB Director, now you know.
If you think we are joking, ask the gentleman at Page 1, Mangochi, where the plan to reject Martha Chizuma was mooted.
A day before Mar tha Chizuma was rejected by PAC, a social media posting from one unelected senior member of the DPP, did not mince words in react ion against the ombusdwoman’s Macra repor t. And another disgruntled semi-f ired sen i or DPP member celebrated, in her social media posting, said that Chizuma has caused a lot of torment among corrupt DPP-hired heads of parastals and government departments.
We know the corrupt are unhappy. And justifiably so. But the political weather forecast is such that there are four more long years to go before Martha Chizuma can be out of the scene