Former minister Yunus Mussa has observed that the spate of arrests in cement import scandal and others defrauding government in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime is giving the impression that it is only indigenous Malawians who can be kept in police cells while Malawians of Asian origin on the list of suspects are only interrogated but not detained.
Mussa, a former legislator of Zomba Central Constituency who dumped DPP and joined UTM Party of Vice-President Saulos Chilima, said on ‘TimesTalk’ phone-in programme monitored by Nyasa Times on Times Radio that companies owned by Malawians of Asian origin who colluded with suspects being arrested should also be arraigned.
“There are a lot of Amwenye [Asian businesspersons] who are corrupt barons. These tycoons should not be spared,” said Mussa.
“There are Asians doing business in the country on the list of suspects in tax evasion, they should not just be interrogated, they need to face the law. No one is above the law,” said Mussa.
Many callers in the programme hosted by Brian Banda lamented failure by authorities to pounce on owners of some companies which participate in defrauding government but remain free from prosecution.
This comes after police arrested with several key figures, including the security aide to former president Peter Mutharika, in connection to the nearly $7 million in cement import duties.
But a businessman implicated in the deal, Ahmed Chunara, was only questioned and released after he revealed to police that the imports were initiated by Norman Paulosi Chisale, a bodyguard of Mutharika.
Chisale is one several people whom police arrested Tuesday for alleged involvement in the cement importation deal.
On Friday, police arrested the former deputy commissioner general of the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), Roza Mbilizi, for facilitating the importation of the duty-free cement.
Records show that the MRA gave Mutharika the clearance to make the duty-free cement importations in three tranches, with each consignment valued at $2.24 million.
Mutharika has denied knowing about the scheme which saw cement for construction of his private property imported duty free.
Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said police are interrogating several other people on the matter.
“When investigations are ripe, we will inform the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba has said the graft-busting body will start preliminary investigations in the matter.
Newly elected President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, who in his inaugural speech pledged to deal with corruption, said that before the country of 19.13 million people can begin to rebuild, it must clear the rubble of corruption.
“I will challenge the leadership of judiciary to do more to root out the culture of corruption and selective justice that has shipwrecked too many of our lowest courts,” he said.
Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), now in the opposition, claims there is political persecution against its members, a claim which Minister of Information Gospel Kazako has dismissed as trivial.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :