Malawi Police Services (MPS) Fiscal and Fraud Section is set to make more arrests in connection with a $7 million cement import scandal using former president Peter Mutharika’s duty free status as Mutharika’s security aide Norman Paulosi Chisale has been slapped with fraud and money laundering charges .
Chisale was informed of his charges when he appeared before Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Wednesday after his arrest on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in the cement importation scandal.
Fraud and money laundering charges are offences that are contrary to Section 319 and 331 of the Penal Code respectively.
Senior Resident Magistrate Violet Chipawo formally informed Chisale on his indictment.
The former strongman in Mutharika’s regime came to court handcuffed.
His lawyer Chancy Gondwe asked for bail, saying Chisale “surrendered himself to police after being called. He cooperated with police during interrogation and during a search at his house.”
But prosecution argued that he may interfere with witnesses.
Court will rule on bail bid on Friday.
Police also interrogated two Asian businesspersons, Mahmed Shafee and Ahmed Chunara who reportedly implicated Chisale that he received and collected the documents to have contained information of the cement importation and this was surrendered to police as part of evidence in court.
On Friday last week law enforcers also arrested former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) deputy commissioner Roza Mbilizi in connection with cement Mutharika imported duty-free
More people at MRA are allegedly implicated in the investigations alongside six from the State House.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said many people will be summoned for police questioning.
“We are mandated by law to investigate all case brought before us. When we investigate the case we interview individuals so that we learn more from them to build up our investigates.
“We are inviting several individuals and when we have actual suspects we will inform Malawians before taking them to court,” he said.
Fiscal and Fraud Section is also interested to interrogate former president Mutharika.
Mutharika, who was removed from power in the June 23 court-sanctioned presidential election rerun, is building a retirement home in the Lakeshore town of Mangochi, southern Malawi.
After losing the election, the former president was forced to temporarily move into a state lodge because the house is incomplete.
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 opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials have complained that the new administration under the leadership of Chakwera is making arrest of senior members of the party and claimed it is political persecution aimed at killing the party.
But commentators have said there is a lot of rot that is being exposed to have been happening during the DPP regime that requires the long arm of the law to catch up with wring doers- and the fish rots from the head down.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :