Chilima thinks corruption allegations as political play, recipe for Tonse Alliance divorce

Malawi Vice President Saulosi Chilima has come out with guns blazing hinting to his supporters that the corruption allegations against are political in his first direct public address since the withdrawal of delegated powers by President Chakwera.

Chilima is named by the UK National Crime Agency (FBI equivalent) who are collaborating with the Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in their pursuit of businessman Zuneth Sattar on allegation of corruption of politically exposed persons.

Chilima, speaking at the gates of his Area 43 residence in the capital city Lilongwe on Friday afternoon, said will substantially address the nation next week but hinted that what is happening is like his partners in government are taking him for a fool.

President Chakwera and Vice President Chakwera

“In 2020 we were saying let’s humble ourselves and we humbled ourselves and continued humbling ourselves. However, this humbleness sometimes translates into foolishness,” he said, while urging his supporters to remain calm and let “each one to do their job”.

“I have been urged to talk but I have to ask that today I am going for a meeting, so let me go and do that,” said Chilima apparently referring to the Tonse Alliance meeting at Kamuzu Palace called by President Lazarus Chakwera.

Commenting on Chilima’s speech, a political and governance analyst has warned that it will be dangerous for Chilima to take the political route with his alleged corruption issues since it was apparent that this has nothing to do with Chakwera or his party.

“This is coming from the UK’s NCA and the ACB here. I have followed Martha Chizuma this far I don’t think she is someone who can allow herself to be used by the MCP or the President,” said the analyst who refused to be identified in the media.

He explained that although it is at different levels, so far it is clear that both Chilima and Chakwera are affected by NCA and ACB actions.

“To me Chakwera has lost big time because he has lost a Minister and trusted member of MCP in the north, he has lost advisors, a Police IG he trusted with the country’s internal security, he has lost his most trusted man at State House, the Chief of Staff. I don’t think all these could be happening just to get to Chilima as he is making his followers believe. Again I don’t think Chakwera can have all that influence especially on NCA in the UK,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chilima has roped in former Attorney General Dr Chikosa Silungwe to head his army of lawyers to help him navigate through the allegations.

As crowds of UTM supporters were arriving at the residence for moral support, Silungwe also arrived at the residence accompanied by another lawyer George Mtchuka Mwale but refused to comment on the impending ACB interrogations.

UTM Publicity Secretary Frank Mwenifumbo while confirming that they were expecting the ACB to interview Chilima Friday morning, said that UTM supporters will not just watch while their leader is being humiliated to that magnitude.

The supporters sang that they will not let anything bad to happen to their President, they are also asking God to fight their battles while others shouted “okuba yemweyo ife tilibe pambuyo pake” (translated: We are behind supporting the same thief).

President Chakwera early this week announced that he has withheld all delegated duties to the office of the vice president following allegations that Chilima personally received huge sums of money from businessman Sattar.

Sattar’s issue is being handled by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Chilima’s name first appeared in court documents in that country before the ACB also mentioned him in its report to President Chakwera.

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