The graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), has attracted the wrath of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for going after former President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika in an alleged “fraud” case.
ACB is investigating Mutharika over alleged abuse of his taxpayer identification number (TPIN) by his close aides during his tenure.
APM, as he is fondly called by his followers, was recently questioned by Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) on aspects surrounding alleged evasion of tax.
Mutharika’s former chief of staff Peter Mukhito and security aide Norman Chisale are believed to have imported cement worth millions of kwacha using Mutharika’s TPIN.
However, attempts by ACB to get at APM in its effort to build its case on the matter, have been resisted by APM and his followers.
Recently, the Bureau was forced to cancel, at the last minute, an interrogation it had scheduled to take place at Mutharika’s residence in Mangochi.
Last week, it was reported that ACB was scheduled to search his house, personal phones and computers.
The report has angered the erstwhile governing party, which feels the Bureau is bent on making the life of the former difficult.
In its press statement signed by the party’s newly anointed publicity secretary Shadric Namalomba, DPP is accusing ACB of persecuting Mutharika.
The party warns the Bureau to stop harassing APM by “abusing their powers and the legal processes”.
Namalomba claims that in the past 12 months, ACB has constantly persecuted Mutharika by freezing his bank accounts such that he was unable to access money for his daily living expenses.
“Up to now, they have not demonstrated to the country whey they are doing this. We consider this to be a total abuse of their power. If the ACB wants Malawians to take them seriously in fighting corruption, it must do so by dealing with the rampant corruption, which is going on in the current government at the moment,” reads part of the letter.
Adds Namalomba, “We have now learnt with shock that ACB wants to invade and search the Former President’s house, personal phones and laptops contrary to the laws of this country under Section 21 (a) of the Constitution. The intended search for an innocent former President, who is not charged with any crime, amounts to political persecution and psychological torture of the highest order.
“If the ACB is indeed a body mandated to fight corruption, it must have told the nation the offences that the former President has committed.”
Namalomba commends MRA, which he claims was clear on what it was looking for from Mutharika.
“Consequently, the former President duly cooperated with MRA. We therefore question the rationale behind the actions of ACB in duplicating the work of MRA. We are therefore warning ACB to sport this unnecessary harassment and persecution of the former President,” thus ends the DPP statement.
ACB Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala was not immediately available to comment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :