Bakili Muluzi's hope for life outside prison are in these High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Judges and not the Emmie Chanika that Muluzi is paying to draw him sympathy from the public for the theft and corruption case to be withdrawn. Pic exclusively by Malawi Digest.(c)
By Joseph Mwale
The prosecution of former president Bakili Muluzi is a waste of resources and government should therefore, stop the matter, civil rights activist Emmie Chanika has said.
But in separate interviews, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Wezzie Kayira and Mzuzu based political analyst Noel Mbowela said it was too early to describe the matter as a waste of public resources, especially when the courts are yet to tackle the substantive matters of the case.
Civil Liberties Committee (Cilic) boss Emmie Chanika said government should instead intensify the fight against current corruption, adding there was a lot of corruption in government but the authorities were only interested in previous cases.
“Muluzi’s case is simply a tip of the iceberg, a joke. There is need to focus on present cases,” Chanika said.
She cites cases of former president of Kenya Daniel Arap Moi and Fredrick Chiluba of Zambia, who were acquitted by the courts in their respective countries.
Chiluba was acquitted early last week following the Zambian government’s failure to provide tangible evidence relating to his alleged graft activities.
This, as Chanika said wasted resources of the two countries that could have been used on other development activities and fears the same could happen to Malawi.
But Kayira said Chiluba’s case was different from Muluzi’s, adding that Chiluba appeared in court and defended himself.
“Muluzi’s case has not even started, let the ACB bring evidence in court and defendants should defend themselves. Then we can see what the courts will decide,” he said.
Kayira added that anybody would comment on such issues outside courts but the bottom line remained that the courts were the ones to judge.
Conquering with Kayira, Mbowela said Muluzi’s prosecution was not a waste of resources but a warning to those who want to mess up with government funds.
“This is a serious warning to those who hold such positions to be careful with the public funds,” he said.
Mbowela also said if Muluzi was innocent, the courts will decide.
But Chanika said if Muluzi really stole public funds, then the blame should go to the civil society, government watchdogs and Malawians as a whole.
“The vice-president, ministers and other stakeholders should advise our presidents on how to manage things. We should not blame the individual, but the whole system,” added Chanika.
She also noticed that renowned activists in the country were failing in their duties as government watchdogs as required of them by the country’s Constitution.
However, Chanika was convinced that President Bingu wa Mutharika’s recently speech that he will not spare any minister involved in corrupt practices indicated he was geared to deal with corruption.
Chanika campaigned against Muluzi’s standing in May 19 elections and also written a book titled, The Lost Decade, referring to the 10 years under Muluzi.
Information and Civic Education Minister Leckford Thotho said he could not comment on the issue because the matter was in court.
Muluzi is answering corruption charges in which he is alleged to have diverted MK1.7 billion donor funds into his personal accounts during his 10-year rule-The Sunday Times, September 6, 2009.