Malawi anti-corruption chief Nampota arrested, given bail

Malawi’s Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director, Alexius Nampota, was on Thursday arrested by Fiscal Police in Blantyre and given bail after being interrogated on wrongful self-enrighment.

Nampota is said to have been quizzed  on ” abuse of office” charges among others on a story Nyasa Times carried on October 24, 2011(http://www.nyasatimes.com/malawi/2011/10/24/acb-boss-nampota-in-corruption-scam/) which indicated he had abused his office by drawing allowances on a trip he did not go.

“Nampota has been questioned, charged and given bail,” said a police officer at Fiscal Department. Police spokesman Davie Chingwalu also confirmed.

Nampota was scheduled to attend a two-week Leadership Course at the Royal Institute for Public Administration (RIPA) in the United Kingdom from July 18 to 29, 2011.

Nampota: The hunter is hunted

ACB paid him more than £4,000 [about K1, 064, 000. 00 at the official rate of K266 – 1 Pound] for tuition, Subsistence Allowance and purchased a Business Class air ticket.

Kenya Airways quoted just over MK500, 000 and South African Airways quoted over MK1, 500,000.00. When the quotations were presented to Mr. Nampota, he said he travels SAA. Accordingly, the ticket was bought for him.

In September when the foreign travel  ban  for public officers was still in force, Nampota requested that his ticket be carried forward to November. The ACB, as a result, paid a penalty at Sky Link, ACB’s travel agents, to have the ticket extended.

Nampota kept the allowances and the ticket when he did not make the trip.

Ironically,  the same Nampota led investigations in 2009 against leader of opposition, John Tembo, under almost the same circumstances.

Tembo had to pay back half the total cost of his abortive trip.

Using the forex he got for the London trip, Nampota and his wife travelled to Dubai for a week. They went to Dubai again on September 29 and returned on October, 3 2011.

” I cannot exactly say that it’s an arrest but rather I’m only being victimised because I’m handling very big cases involving top government officials hence these frivolous charges to silence me,” Nampota claimed in an interview.

Nampota  and the  Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) recently  disagreed on the termination of  contract.

” I was told to quit and get my benefits for the remainder of my one year and half and I told them fine have my money ready,” he said.

According to him he has documents of his transactions clearing him of any wrong doing.

He claims that he had failed to fly out to England because of travel bans for senior government officials effected by the previous regime .

The ACB director also wondered as to why the police are pouncing on him when the Corrupt Practice Act mandates Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament to investigate officers at the bureau.

He first joined the ACB at its inception in 1997 as deputy director and then left the bureau in March 2004 at the end of his contract which was not renewed for undisclosed reasons.

In 2007, Nampota rejoined the ACB as director, replacing Tumalisye Ndovi whose appointment was rejected by PAC.

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