ACB ‘caution interview’ with Mutharika on TIPN abuse shifted to July 27

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has announced change of date for interviewing former President Peter Mutharika on alleged abuse of his Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TPIN) purportedly by some of his aides when he was in office.

Mutharika is to be interview under caution meaning the conduct is similar to someone who has been arrested. he is also entitled not to answer any questions as evidence gathered during the interview will be used against him in as he is a crime suspect.

Mutharika: Suspected of criminal activities with his TPIN

ACB Principal Public Relations Officer, Egrita Ndala issued a brief state on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 that the interview has been rescheduled at will take place from Tuesday, July 27.

“The Anti-Corruption Bureau would like to inform Malawians that as part of the on-going investigation process into the allegations of abuse of the former President’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN), the ACB interview of the former President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has been postponed from 20th July, to 27th July, 2021.

“The interview will be conducted virtually as one way of observing Covid-19 prevention guidelines,” concludes the statement.

Ndala could not divulge reasons for the postponement. However, sources close to the former President indicate that his lawyers had written the ACB to give them more time to prepare for the interview. Nyasa Times could not reach Mutharika’s legal counsel Charles Mhango to verify the reasons.

In an earlier communication, Ndala said the Bureau would like to let Malawians know that this is a normal and legal process, which started in 2020. The ACB hopes that this will put the record straight on the various stories circulating in the social media surrounding this matter,” she said.

Some APM sympathizers have claimed that the impending interrogation and imminent arrest may have been triggered by APM’s angry outbursts at a press conference recently where he claimed the MCP and its partners, in cohort with the courts, had carried out a ‘judicial coup’ to depose him from power. He also accused President Chakwera and his administration of mismanaging the economy, plunging Malawians in deep poverty.

Mutharika lost the presidency to Chakwera following the June 23, 2020 presidential election re-run ordered by the courts following claims of irregularities in the initial poll in 2019.

Former security aide for Mutharika, Paulosi Norman Chisale, former State House Chief of Staff Peter Mukhito and former Deputy Director General for the Malawi Revenue Authority, Loza Mbilizi, were recently arrested by police on allegations that they may have connived to abuse the former President’s tax exemption privileges.

A businessman of Asian origin was Mahmed Shafee Ahmed Chunara was also arrested in connection with the matter where it is alleged over 1 million bags of cement worth over K5 billion were imported into the country duty-free.

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