By Kenson McCloud
There are mixed reactions from good governance experts following the passing of the Corrupt Practices Act Amendment Bill as some have cast doubt that the Act will have no meaningful impact in the fight against corruption in the country.
The sentiments follow the tabling and passing of the Bill on Thursday, which among others, sought to delete Section 10-Sub-Section 1 and F and Section 42 of the Act.
The passing of the Bill means the Anti-Corruption Bureau will now have the mandate to prosecute cases without seeking consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In an interview with Timveni, University of Malawi political scientist Victor Chipofya said this is a move in the right direction as it will remove unnecessary bureaucratic delays in prosecution of corruption cases.
According to Chipofya, the onus now falls on the bureau to showcase its independence and vigilance in the fight against corruption following the passing of the Bill.
He has further implored President Lazarus Chakwera to move with swiftness in assenting to the Bill as a sign of his commitment towards the course.
Meanwhile, Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency (CSAT) Executive Director Willy Kambwandira has expressed reservations with the move, arguing that the focus should have been on changing the laws that give the President the power to hire and fire the ACB Director General.
Kambwandira says as long as the appointing authority remains a politician, the fight against corruption will remain a huge challenge in the country.