Chilima defies President Chakwera, attends cabinet meeting

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima on Thursday defied his boss’s technical sacking following a corruption probe by the graft bursting body Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in collaboration with the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom.

Chilima appeared in public for the first time since President Chakwera stripped him of any delegated duties and powers for his involvement in the corruption, money laundering and racketeering allegations uncovered in Sattargate.

Chilima attended a Cabinet crisis meeting summoned by Chakwera at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Thursday and refused to speak to the media amidst call for his resignation with others mocking his campaign song “Waba Wekha Usalire” simply translated “Don’t cry, you have stolen yourself.”

Chilima: His mind changed to “stealing” from Malawians

Chilima’s party UTM which is in a governing alliance with President Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party expressed dismay on the technical sacking of its leader, a move that has earned Chakwera praise from the leader of the European Union Delegation in Malawi among other good meaning people.

The Cabinet crisis meeting was meant to discuss and find solutions to the escalating cost of living in the country.

The meeting came just hours after Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) announced a 34 percent fuel hike, triggering rise in bus fares immediately.

In the meeting room, Chilima sat next to President Chakwera and his face is said to been expressionless while his colleagues expressed dismay that he even attended to mudsling them with his greed for riches.

Chilima is among 84 public officers, civil servants, judges, lawyers, journalists and politicians among others who are suspected to have received the bribes from Sattar.

Chakwera said on Tuesday evening that apart from Chilima, no other cabinet minister has been named in the infamous Sattar list report.

Chilima is also named in a filed affidavit by the NCA in United Kingdom which says he benefitted from Sattar’s corrupt money.

Malawians except UTM party diehards are not worried with the revelations as there is another active ACB probe following a purchase of motor vehicles through a proxy recently  with no clear explanation on the source of funds.

The ACB report says for four years between 2017 and 2021, the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Defence Force awarded 16 contracts worth over US$150 million to five companies belonging to Sattar.

It also says a total of 53 public officers and former public officers allegedly received money, another set of 31 individuals from the private sector, the media, civil society, and the legal fraternity also received bribes bringing the total of those on the Bureau’s list to 84.

Among the 84 individuals who allegedly received money in 2021, the ACB report says, there are 13 that the Bureau says have been extensively investigated to the point of concluding that they conducted themselves corruptly in dealing with the businessman.

And four of the 13 include the Vice President, the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service and the Chief of Staff for State Residences,” says the report.

“The Bureau has found that beyond the 84 individuals who allegedly received money in 2021, his associate also kept a record of all the persons who allegedly received money from 2008 to 2020 but the report does not include any of the names of those found in the 14 ledgers that contain this information,” reads the report in part.

The report says ledger books confiscated from Sattar’s associate include donations to politicians from all major political parties in the country.

Chakwera said that corruption revelations are deeply entrenched and it has affected a number of sectors.

The report says public officers from Malawi Defense Force (MDF), Malawi police, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), Office of President and Cabinet, Office of the Vice President, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB),Judiciary, Ministry of Finance, Ministry Information, ministry Tourism, Homeland Security, allegedly received bribes between March 2021-October 2021.

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13 Comments
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Ebinaziel Kandomo
Ebinaziel Kandomo
5 months ago

I feel sorry if indeed some Top Big political leaders are involved in Every one who is involved should defend himself. Many who are involved are men of integrity.

Nukashaba
Nukashaba
5 months ago

The guy was talking too much since day 1 and he to face the reality.

Wakubaayo
Wakubaayo
5 months ago

You Malawians are all Chisiiru. Sattar is living like a god in Leicester and driving rolls Royce with your money. When will your people wake up

William Austin
William Austin
5 months ago

That’s a good move.Those implicated in satargate must be put aside untill the are cleared.Its pathetic to see Hon chilima on that list.The leader must lead by example.well done ACB keep up the good work

Wakubaayo
Wakubaayo
5 months ago
Reply to  William Austin

What and then in a years time another guy will come along and loot the country of all the money????

Fahir Ambulasi
Fahir Ambulasi
5 months ago

They have to face the law,As we poor we are suffering because these enemies to development,Let the law do it’s part.

Dambuzo
Dambuzo
5 months ago

Not defying as such, he is part of the executive by virtue he was elected concurrently with the president. He can be stripped off delegated duties but not of the position of Veep.. His attendance wasn’t wrong.

zapadziko
zapadziko
5 months ago
Reply to  Dambuzo

The problem with our reporters is their integrity. The president clearly said he has withdrawn delegating powers to Chilima. Does that mean he can not go to his office? sign other important documents?. This is why some readers don’t trust your reporting. Please improve!

Gift gondwe
Gift gondwe
5 months ago
Reply to  Dambuzo

Yes

Che Selensike
Che Selensike
5 months ago

Does withholding of delegated powers include or constitute suspension from cabinet? If that was the intention, then this should have been clearly communicated as such. Is attending cabinet a delegate task?
The nameless Nyasatimes reporter is just excited for nothing

Dausee
Dausee
5 months ago
Reply to  Che Selensike

He is paid for. Akulemba a lot of stupid articles in support of Chakwera’s uselessness.

Dambuzo
Dambuzo
5 months ago
Reply to  Dausee

Not as such in this article but was trying to demean the President which is not the case looking at the sitting arrangement shows that he was expected to be in attendance at the cabinet meeting. Let us not make mountains where there are not supposed be mountains. Veep will clear himself from those allegations and stripped off delegated duties will be reinstalled. The President had to protect his constitutional office.

Kapoli
Kapoli
5 months ago
Reply to  Che Selensike

Spot on. Some of these journalists should read the constitution. Cabinet members comprise the President, the Vice President, and all Cabinet Ministers. If it pleases the President to delegate some ministerial portfolios to the VP, then the VP is both Vice President and Cabinet Minister; and he is still a cabinet member even without a ministerial portfolio. In essence, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency are intertwined twins unless the incumbent of one office is impeached and fired by Parliament.

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