ACB Freed from DPP’s Bondage

ACB Freed from DPP’s Bondage

Parliament has amended sections 10 (1) (f) and 42 of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA), allowing the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to commence prosecution of corruption cases without seeking consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The bill which received support from both sides of the house was passed without amendments until later when legislator for Rumphi West Adadawiza Mkandawire wrote the office of the speaker to delete Section 10 Subsection 1(f) on the bill amendment as tabled by legislator for Likoma Island Ashems Songwe.

This twist of events, however, took place in the absence of the opposition members who had walked out of the house earlier in protest at a decision by the government side to change subject of discussion in the house from the security status of the country in relation to the alleged abduction of rights activist Sylvester Namiwa to constituency statements.

Songwe explained to us that it was important to delete Section 10 (1)(f) in the amendment because it was an error to amend the clause.

“After we passed the bill earlier, it was discovered that we had included a clause by error, Clause 2 of the amendment bill which was targeting Section 10 (1)(f) of the Corrupt Practices Act.

“What you wish to understand is that the functions of the ACB are spelt out in Section 10 (1) and particularly Section 10 (1)(f) talks about to prosecute corruption cases, subject to the direction of the DPP,” he said.

The deletion of Section 10 (1)(f) in the amended bill, according to Songwe, means now focus is only on Section 42 of the CPA which requires the ACB to seek written consent from the DPP before commencing prosecution of any corruption cases.

Owen Chomanika who spoke on behalf of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) praised the bill as a milestone in the fight against corruption.

“Today we have an opportunity to make sure that we correct the wrong, the wrong being all assessments that have been done to the CPA since 1999 have always alluded to the fact that Section 42 of the CPA should be repealed and that Section 10 (1)(f) should be amended,” said Chomanika, MP for Chikwawa North.

As per requirement, President Lazarus Chakwera will have to assent to the bill for it to become law.

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Last modified on Friday, 29/07/2022

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