The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has hinted that United Democratic Front (UDF) leader Atupele Muluzi could also face probe over the role he might have taken in the dubious sale of patches of government land, including Livimbo Schools in Lilongwe.
Muluzi was briefly the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in 2017 when a ‘lands syndicate’ is reported to have sold strategic patches of land to Malawians of Asian origin in the country’s major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba.
The Kasungu-based non-governmental organisation Community Initiative for People Empowerment (CIPE) on Tuesday demanded that the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) should institute investigations to establish the role the UDF torchbearer in the May 21 tripartite elections took in the illegal sale of the prime land.
CIPE chairperson Anaclet Manda recalled on Tuesday that in March 2017, ACB arrested Mussa and others on allegations that they fraudulently issued citizenships and passports to Burundians and Rwandans, among other foreign nationals.
The suspects allegedly received bribes from foreigners in exchange for Malawian passports when Mussa was minister.
Mussa and David Kwanjana were charged with neglect of official duty contrary to Section 121 of the Penal Code and abuse of public office contrary to Section 25B(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
“Now, if you carefully analyse the passport-gate, you will see a big similarity with what that of the land-gate. Although Mussa has been claiming innocence because his role was only to approve as minister and that didn’t personally know the people who were applying for passports, the court found him with a case to answer,” said Manda.
He added: “We feel if Muluzi did not personally have a hand in the illegal sale of land, then he might have neglected his duty when the land was being sold to Malawians of Asian origin. That’s why we are urging ACB to institute investigations to establish the role the former minister played in the illegal sale of the land.”
ACB senior public relations officer, Egrita Ndala, assured in a telephone interview this morning that the graft busting body will not draw parameters in its probe.
Ndala said there will be no sacred cows in the land-gate investigations.
“Of course, we are not a position to tell who we are investigating. But let me assure the public that ACB will not set parameters in our investigations. Anyone involved in the land-gate will be pursued. So, I would like to appeal to the public to exercise some patience while we do our work,” Ndala said.
The young Muluzi is currently in China as visiting scholar at Peking University after losing his Machinga North East parliamentary seat in May 2019.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :