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’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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :