Opposition MPs for ACB independence

Opposition MPs for ACB independence

LILONGWE  (Tamanda Mwale, Malawi NewsNow)-A motion  has been passed by Members of Parliament (MPs)  – majority who voted for it was opposition MPs –   which could lead towards removing powers of the President to appoint the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director and deputy.

Opposition backed by some independent MPs carried the day with  75 votes against 67 of the government MPs with 51 absentees from both sides.

Lilongwe South West MP Peter Chakhwantha moved the motion that an amendment bill be drafted to change Section 5 (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act to provide for appointment of the ACB director and deputy by the Public Appointment Committee (PAC) not the President as it stands now.

Chakhwantha said the appointment should be based on merit and through an open recruitment process.

“By giving the President absolute powers, it is heavily politicising the office of the ACB. The appointment should not be left in the hands of a politician whose orders are duly influenced by the presidency. The ACB is in office at the pleasure of the President and we cannot continue to act like that in this country,” Chakhwantha said.

Seconder of the motion, Lilongwe Mapuyu South Joseph Njobvuyalema, also faulted the drafting of the CPA Section 5 (1).

However, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said ACB belongs to the Executive arm of government and removing the President’s powers to appoint a director would be a “travesty of the doctrine of separation [of power].”