The question of the competency and efficiency of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has always been lingering with us for a long time. In fact it emerged just after the Bureau was established under the reign of Bakili Muluzi.
Over the years, so many suggestions have been put forward to make ACB more efficient and effective; like making it more independent, impartial and with more ‘teeth’. One of the approaches towards this objective is to untangle the bureau from the web of politics because it is generally agreed that politics and politicians have been the albatross around the bureau’s neck for a long time.
In fact one of the promises the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) made ahead of the 2014 elections was to remove presidential powers to appoint ACB Director, a promise the party has since reneged. The consensus is that it is the [appointing] system which brings about problems at the ACB not individuals.
All expert opinion confluence on the fact that the presidential appointees at ACB would not normally be expected to successfully investigate and prosecute ‘the fingers that feed them’. And to b fair to them, the fellas that have worked at the bureau as Directors have not been bad generally; in fact some had been pretty competent. What let them down was the system.
It is therefore appalling to hear Chakwera, of all the people, suggesting the opening of the position of ACB Director to foreigners. For a casual observer this is just a simple suggestion but it is appalling because it comes from a person whose ambition is to become President of Malawi one day.
As someone who wants to be Malawi’s Head of State, Chakwera should have displayed a little more reason and deeper understanding of the government system. How it has worked over the year; its flaws and the practical solutions to fix the same. We know that the MCP President is a novice, particularly at government systems, but is that not the reason why people consult?
To suggest the opening of the position of ACB Director to foreigners, Chakwera’s has displayed utter contempt over the ability of Malawians to create home-grown solutions and to do the job which is abhorrent. Yet he wants the vote of the same Malawians to ascend to the presidential throne. It will not work. They say if you don’t know something, it is better to remain silent than to speak and remove all doubt about your gullibility.