Justice Minister, police differ on release of Chizuma
Following the arrest of ACB Director General Martha Chizuma, Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo and the Malawi Police have disagreed on her release.
Malawi: Following the arrest of ACB Director General Martha Chizuma, Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo and the Malawi Police have disagreed on her release.
While the Justice Minister was telling Parliament that Ms Chizuma had been unconditionally released, her lawyer, Martha Kaukonde, announced that Chizuma had been formally charged and released on bail.
Mvalo stated that he was unaware of the arrest until Parliamentarians questioned him, which was echoed by House Leader Richard Chimwendo Banda.
This, however, did not sit well with Parliamentarians, resulting in chaos in the House and the suspension of the sitting to allow the government side to provide a concrete explanation.
Chizuma, who was arrested early Tuesday morning and taken to Namitete Police, was being charged over leaked audio in which she was recorded complaining about difficulties in the fight against corruption.
Chizuma's lawyer, Martha Kaukonde, told local media that her client has been charged with a case contrary to section 113 subsection 3 of the Penal Code, following an audio leak in January this year in which she was heard speaking about the difficulties and obstacles she faced in prosecuting suspected corrupt individuals.
'Ms Chizuma has been granted bail, and she will now proceed to Area 30 Police Headquarters, where they will issue their next directive on the matter,' said Kaukomde.
Chizuma was apprehended around 4 a.m. Tuesday and taken to Namitete Police under heavy police escort.
A case in which a private citizen, Frighton Phompho, wanted Chzuma to be prosecuted over the same leaked audio was dismissed by the Mzuzu High Court a few months ago, saying it did not make sense.
Ms Chizuma was later pardoned by President Lazarus Chakwera.
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