16 January 2020
As the nation waits for the panel of five judges to deliver their judgment in the presidential elections case, drama continues to unfold.
It all started as a rumour on social media that certain interested parties were trying hard to oil the palms of the judges to influence justice. It is now official: The Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda lodged a complaint that the five judges had been offered a bribe to judge in their favour.
Not so long ago, the CJ admitted corruption has not spared the Judiciary, including some judges. He said outright, it was no use for the Judiciary to pretend that corruption does not exist in the system, the very pillar in the fight against corruption.
We have seen lawyers being involved in judge shopping where present cases at a particular registry where they know the judge will twist the tail of justice. We have seen judicial officers and support staff being convicted for taking bribes.
It is sad that this is happening after the Judiciary through its Institutional Integrity Committee and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in 2016 launched an anti-corruption and fraud policy.
In the recent case, ACB director general Reyneck Matemba told journalists the corruption-busting body was indeed investigating five complaints it has received from various parties, including the one from the CJ. But Matemba refused to name the other parties or those who were trying to bribe the jugdes.
We should be afraid, very afraid that we have reached this far. It is for a fact that there is a lot at stake in this case as it hinges on the country’s future.
The question has been was Matemba right to hide the names of those alleged to have been involved in the corruption? Is he in any way trying to shield anyone with the ad infinitum locution that they are investigating?
On the one hand, one would think with the case awaiting ruling, it would have its own repercussions. Currently, the rumour mill has already brought out its parties. What is queer is that corruption claims spreading around indicate that some people involved on both sides of the case were trying to bribe the judges!
As the issue is already in the public domain, we will all wait for Matemba and team to prove those of us who believe that ACB is a toothless bulldog wrong. Such corruption in high places is unwanted.
While we are at it, fire razed the Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) control system for the company. That fire in Area 3, Lilongwe, brought to a halt radio broadcasting services and phone services were affected.
The fire comes just a few days after fire gutted part of Delamere House in Blantyre. Not long ago, we have seen fires at Chancellor College, not to mention the fires at Escom House, Nico House, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) warehouse and several markets.
What is baffling is that we have not had conclusive investigations on what is the cause of all these fires. We have not had forensic investigations on why these fires. I believe by now we should have known that Malawi is burning so not just because its name means flames.