By Greyson Chapita

THABO NYIRENDA: Ordered the arrest of journalist Gregory Gondwe

There once was a man.. a man of virtue and integrity while working at Malawi’s central bank, the Reserve Bank as a Manager and Legal Counsel. Such a feat at his age of 40 and with all his academic handiness, a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Chancellor College and a Master of Laws Degree in International Financial Law from University of Sussex in the UK, there can never be another man other than Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda.

His experience in the trade is a topic for another day, but the highpoint of his career was on 27th August, 2021 when President Lazarus Chakwera named him as the country’s Attorney General replacing Dr Chikosa Silungwe who was being accused by some section in the Malawi Congress Party that his legal opinions were calculated to expose and frustrate the Chakwera led administration…. So, Thabo was and is still their main man.

Being Chakwera’s “main man”, Thabo never shillyshallied to get things working. He was all over making pronouncements about working to protect public money from dubious payments. He spoke about questionable contracts that needed to be sent to trashcans, the fight against corruption and instilling discipline in the public service and its financial systems.

Thabo was indeed our man of the moment… We all needed a Thabo to change things around, and true to that, Thabo spoke and represented change.

His name was also on the tongues of many praise singers, the “bola DPP inachoka” type of handclappers after the AG, new in the game, managed to whip DPP off their political maneuverings as they sought for nullification of the fresh presidential poll following the firing of some MEC Commissioners who were found “incompetent” by the Constitution Court hearing the 2019 presidential election case.

Thabo kept on pitching his work high, he picked on the Techno Brain’s passport contract with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services by questioning the procurement process. He went for the contract and it was cancelled accordingly and Thabo Chakaka became the “Chakalaka” flavor in our national pudding.

But then, satana amati akati akusake, Thabo never saw what was instore for him on 10th January, 2022. He went on to give a 60-day amnesty to all alleged crooks accused of defrauding government in their business dealings or illegally acquired wealth, to voluntarily pay back the said wealth or face the law.

This was the beginning of his low moments, especially coming munyengo ya Mr Zuneith Sattar, Batawalala and other “Pangolins” around. Many governance stakeholders never took this lightly, they throbbed Chakaka, describing this as a move deemed to shield Sattar and his business associates from prosecution.

It didn’t end there…… Thabo kept on starring in the Sattar episodes and the latest was where the Platform of Investigative Journalism took their meat from. This is where the AG is alleged to have authorized payment to Sattar on some government business, while in public Thabo sounded all holly making a stance against dealing with Sattar’s owned companies and barred him from public procurement.

To “Sattar” his “Sattar-ing” he called Dr Kainja and his boys to action, reminding us once again that we still have some black cock traits within some so-called agents of change who would go miles clinching their fists against everything that seems to promote freedom of the press.

Like his many green jackets legionnaires, Chakaka went ahead abusing his power and authority pouncing on PIJ’s Gregory Gondwe, his gadgets and I don’t know what else…

Chakaka forgot that he is one of the custodians of the country’s laws. He is the face of our country’s justice system the last man to tow towards attempts that explore otherwise… All his accomplishments, gone; all the respects, gone.

Chakaka must be told in bold that Freedom of the press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose and that’s what it means to be in a democracy.

As the country’s AG, he wouldn’t wake up today and decide to pick and chose which types of freedom he would want to defend, its either he defends all of it or be against all of it…

The best for him now is simply to resign for he is in the wrong office. He should try full time politics maybe and battle with journalists all he wants and see if he would make himself a political goon anyway.

People like Chakaka must be reminded that no government ought to be without censors; unless its being led by people that are not sane. Everyone deserves their legal rights in full, even when they disagree with us. Protecting their rights protects ours.

Atolankhani mukuwamanga lerowa, muzawafuna pa mmawa…. Amanyozeka lero poti mudakali nazo mphamvu, pammawa nthenga zizathothoka muzawafuna… Besides, at 40 you are still young Mr Chakaka to make things right and leave a legacy. Your fall though has fallen too soon…


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