By Dyson Kamwana
The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) says it has commenced an investigation into the arrest of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma, following a complaint Chizuma lodged to the commission.
According to a statement issued on Thursday, signed by the commission’s Executive Secretary Habiba Osman, the Commission received a complaint from Chizuma who alleged that the report findings by the commission of inquiry which was investigating matters surrounding her arrest last year, did not include human rights violations she encountered on the day of her arrest.
MHRC says apart from the complaint lodged by Chizuma, the commission has also been receiving complaints from other stakeholders, urging the commission to conduct an independent investigation into the matter.
“In the of the bureaus mandate under section 129 of the constitution of Malawi, MHRC has commenced investigations into Martha Chizuma’s arrest and all subsequent events that have unfolded since her arrest” reads part of the statement.
Meanwhile, the statement indicates the investigation is a continuation of a fact-finding mission commenced when Chizuma was arrested and it has been apparent through the complaints received that a comprehensive human rights investigation be conducted on the matter.
The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has therefore asked the general public and stakeholders to support and furnish the commission with information relating to the investigation.
Recently, there have been twists and turns of events since the arrest of Chizuma on December 6th last year, in what the Malawi Police Service (MPS) announced that the move followed a complaint lodged by the then Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Dr. Steven Kayuni, who claimed that he felt injured by assertions Chizuma made while discussing matters of ACB with an unknown individual in an audio clip which leaked on social media platforms in January 2022.
Following her arrest, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera instituted a commission of inquiry to investigate matters surrounding Chizuma’s arrest, and the commission, among others, found that the then DPP Dr. Kayuni abused the powers of his office, as he used the office to satisfy his personal interest on the matter, a development which prompted Chakwera to fire Kayuni.