Malawi Vice President Chilima under corruption probe for mass vehicle purchase

Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima could soon be summoned by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to explain how and where his UTM Party sourced money for purchasing the 200 brand new vehicles.

This follows a request by a concerned citizen – Gosten Chinseu – to have Chilima and his party probed over the purchase of the vehicles, which are reportedly being distributed to officials within the party rank and file.

Chinseu argues that the purchase of the 200 vehicles for a party that has been in existence since 2018 and does not receive any funding from Parliament presents a corrupt trait that needs to be investigated thoroughly.

Chilima promised to end corruption, now he is caught in the web

Nyasa Times has seen the letter, which Chinseu wrote and delivered to the bureau on 19 April 2022.

He says his interest has been “ignited by recent news stories in circulation relating to this development.”

“For instance, the Independent Digest of 15-21 April 2022 reported the story in depth with estimations of the said purchase to be around MK3 billion.

“I understand that the democratic dispensation in which Malawi is currently operating calls for absolute transparency and accountability in how political parties get their funding. It is in the spirit of this democratic requirement that Parliament enacted the Political Parties Act which calls for audited financial accounts for all parties that have a one-tenth threshold in Parliament,” reads the letter in part.

“Funding of political parties is in line with Section 40(2) of the Constitution and should, therefore, form part of our political culture as a country without compromise. As a concerned and enlightened citizen I fully understand that currently UTM, owing to their numerical representation in Parliament, does not fall in the bracket of receiving funding from government. This means two things; UTM’s financials cannot be audited as stipulated in the Political Parties Act but at the same time their accumulation of assets and resources should fall under a different kind scrutiny, a noble service I have chosen to provide on behalf of Malawians,” narrates Chinseu.

According to him, the new consignment of 200 vehicles adds to a fleet of 35 others that were bought in September 2020, just four months after Tonse Alliance went into office.

Chinseu further claims to have information that UTM has lately accumulated more assets worth around K4.5 billion.

“I hereby request ACB to follow up this matter using all legal instruments available. In the same vein, I would like to make a follow up on another investigation the ACB has been carrying out on the Vice President in relation to allegations that the he solicited an amount of US$I million from one Zuneth Sattar who of the persons answering corruption cases in the United Kingdom. I have reliably learnt that ACB has finalized investigation on the US$I million allegations and that files are ready. I hereby ask the ACB to expedite the prosecutorial processes so as to discourage the public from linking the 200 vehicles and the bribe under question.

“I subscribe to the notion that political party financing is one area that must be taken seriously if Malawi were to win the battle against corruption and money laundering. It is for this reason that I demand a full investigation on how UTM has managed to acquire assets worth over Kl.5 billion within a short period of existence. Your favourable consideration to my request will be greatly appreciated,” thus Chinseu ends his epistle to ACB.

The mobile phone for UTM publicity secretary Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo was offline when Nyasa Times wanted to get the reaction of the party.

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