Malawi’s State Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima has finally reacted to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report, which links him to corruption activities of the United Kingdom-based business magnate, Zuneth Sattar.
Chilima – in a statement issued on Thursday afternoon – vehemently denies the allegations that have been levelled against him, and challenges that he will welcome the opportunity, at an appropriate time, of challenging the said allegations.
Director of Communications in the Office of the Vice President, Pilirani Phiri, who has signed the statement, says the State Vice President finds the manner in which the Bureau has proceeded very troubling.
“The State Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima has taken note of the contents of a report submitted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to the State President of the Republic of Malawi His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, as relayed in a national address made by the State President on Tuesday 21st June 2022. The Report apparently makes serious allegations of criminal conduct against the State Vice President although, as correctly observed by the State President in his address, the Report does not present any detail of the alleged criminal conduct,” reads the statement in part.
Phiri adds that the Bureau has, in essence, accused Chilima of a crime without providing any particulars or evidence in support of the crime.
He says the State Vice President further finds it curious that, to date, the Bureau has not confronted him with the said allegations of criminal conduct so that he has the opportunity of making representations on the same.
“Instead, a prejudicial one-sided public narrative has been sustained for months now which has incited public anger against the so called “mentioned” individuals who helplessly watch their lives being ruined as they wait for the opportunity to voice their side of the story. There is a profound sense of justice that is entirely lacking in this approach. The State Vice President wishes to state that while the Bureau’s efforts to fight corruption deserve the unwavering support of all well-meaning Malaŵians, the fight must always be waged within the confines of the law.
“It must not be abused for political or other objectives. One requirement of the law is that every person must be presumed to be innocent until a competent court of law finds them guilty, and further that accusations of criminality should be made within the space of judicial proceedings. This ensures that the fight against corruption remains a noble enterprise and does not descend into a discredited path of political witch-hunting,” continues the statement.
Phiri concludes, “The State Vice President wishes to state that he entered public service to serve the interests of Malawians, and that at no point has he ever been involved in any perverted or criminal scheme as suggested by the Bureau, or at all; nor has he ever deployed the office to which the people of Malawi entrusted him in aid of any perverted or criminal scheme. The State Vice President remains confident that any due process initiated to test the scurrilous allegations now made against him would vindicate the hope that Malaŵians placed in him and looks forward to that occasion.”