Malawi police hoping for ‘mafia’ arrest in Mphwiyo shooting after securing leads

Malawi Police are pursuing important leads which could lead to the arrests of the ‘mafia’ connected to the shooting of Malawi’s budget director Paul Mphwiyo last Friday.

Mphwiyo – shot and severely wounded in an attack that was apparently related to his efforts to fight corruption – was being treated in a South African hospital and his condition was critical but stable.

Police said they are pursuing important leads that could lead to the arrest of more suspects.

One of the lead has been provided by the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC)which  said Sunday in a statement that  the shooting was an attempt to silence anti-corruption officials.

Mphwiyo: Planned attack

The President’s office said Mphwiyo’s shooting “was not just any other robbery but a planned and targeted attack aimed at silencing him and the government in the fight against high levels of corruption and fraud.”

Official corruption and organized fraud had become “entrenched in the past years” in Malawi, the statement said, adding that the anti-graft work Mphwiyo did “will in no way be deterred” by the attack.

“The Government wishes to assure the public that the  police and other law enforcement agencies are  working around the clock to apprehend and bring to  book perpetrators of this heinous crime,” said the statement.

President Joyce Banda  has also said she knows the assailant, saying Mphwiyo  attack comes at the he was about to bust a corruption syndicate.

“Whoever stole money meant for purchasing of medicine and construction of school blocks will be caught despite the incident,” said Banda.

The President’s office also said  the fight against corruption and organised fraud in Government, which had  become entrenched in the past years, will in no way  be deterred by  Mphwiyo’s  shooting  “but it will be sustained to  ensure that these evils are rooted out of the Government and the nation at large.”

Mphwiyo , 37 was appointed budget director in the Ministry of Finance in July this year.

Lilongwe Police spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula said Mphwiyo was shot three times in the cheek, shoulder and chest.

Dandaula said the assailant stood at the gate of Mphwiyo’s house and shot him as he drove into the house.

He said the attacker did not steal anything from the house.

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