The Anti-Corruption Bureau has, a short while ago, arrested businessperson of Asian origin, Abdul Karim Batatawala, in relation to suspected corrupt practices in multi-billion-kwacha procurement contracts for uniforms and other accessories at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.
Also arrested is Commissioner for Operations at the Immigration Department and Citizenship Mr Fletcher Nyirenda for awarding a contract to Batatawala.
Batatawala, according to the ACB Director General Martha Chizuma, committed the offences were committed between 2009 and 2012.
Chizuma said their investigation on the matter indicates that the suspect stashed some of the proceeds overseas.
“Our investigations established that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services awarded the contract to Abdul Karim Batatawala without following procurement procedures which led to Malawi Government losing MK4.7 billion,” said ACB Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala.
“Mr. Batatawala is likely to be charged with conspiracy to defraud contrary to Section
323 of the Penal Code. Mr. Fletcher Nyirenda is likely to be charged with one count
of abuse of office contrary to Section 25 B (1) as read with Section 35 of the Corrupt
Practices Act and conspiracy to defraud contrary to Section 303 of the Penal Code,” further reads a statement from the ACB.
In a related development, ACB has arrested the Director of Energy, Dr. Cassius Chiwambo, for alleged fraud, racketeering and bribery.
Chiwambo is suspected to have committed the offences in the implementation of the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP).
“The Bureau received an allegation that, among other things, alleged that the Ministry of Energy deliberately sidelined the Internal Procurement and Disposal Committee (IPDC) in procuring powerline construction materials for the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP) Phase 9,” says a statement the Bureau has released in relation to the arrests.
“The Bureau conducted investigations into the allegation and established that Mr. Cassius Chiwambo abused his office by influencing the evaluation team to favour DECO, Ackon, KK Hardware, Gabs, Two Trees, Business Machines and West One, which were some of the bidders.
“On 15th December, 2021, the Bureau arrested Mr. Cassius Chiwambo. He will be taken to court to be informed of the charges. He is likely to be charged with two counts of abuse of office contrary to Section 25 B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act,” reads a statement issued by the ACB.
Meanwhile, a senior official at the Bureau confided that more arrests will follow, as there are many government officials on the wanted list for corrupt practices.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :