By Eric Chiputula:
President Lazarus Chakwera has assented to the Amended Corrupt Practices Act which parliament recently approved.
Among other things the amended Act empowers the Anti Corruption Bureau Director General to prosecute corruption cases without seeking consent from the Director of Public Prosecution as it was the case before.
In a statement released on Friday afternoon singed by State House Director of Communication Sean Kampondeni, the state president has also assented to six other bills.
The assenting to the Corrupt Practices Amendment hopes to bring sanity in the prosecution of corruption cases as lately there has been growing verbal war between the ACB Director General Martha Chizuma and Director of Public Prosecution Steve Kayuni with the former accusing the latter of seating on cases brought before his office for consent.
The newly assented to law will also excite Anti-Corruption advocates who have been championing calls for the independence of the ACB.
However, it is yet to be seen whether the new provision will help improve the operations of the Bureau which of late has come under fire with some commentators calling for the resignation or removal of Chizuma.
Recently, it was revealed that although Chizuma has been complaining her office was sitting on more than 150 consents but was failing to prosecute the cases.
The other six assented to laws are loan authorisation provisions from various institutions meant for different government activities including the Emergency Power Restoration Program.
This loan is meant for the rehabilitation of Kapichira Hydropower Plant which was damaged by a storm early this year and a cause for the persistent power blackouts in the country.