Malawi’s corruption bursting Crime Agency Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested President Chakwera’s aide and special advisor on manifesto implementation and strategy Chris Chaima Banda and Tonse Alliance partner Aford President Enock Chihana for their involvement in the fuel supply contracts at the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA).
Earlier on Monday ACB arrested UTM’s senior official and Energy minister, Newton Kambala in connection to the contracts at NOCMA.
“On 9th August, 2021, the ACB arrested Hon. Newton Kambala, Mr. Chris Chaima Banda and Mr. Enock Chihana. They will be taken to Court when the Bureau has finished interviewing them,” reads a statement from ACB signed by Senior Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala.
Nyasa Times established that the ACB obtained three warrants of arrests for Kambala, Chaima Banda and Chihana from Lilongwe Magistrate courts.
“…. the investigation established that Hon. Newton Kambala, Minister of Energy, attempted to influence NOCMA to award contracts of 2020/2021 fuel supply for the advantage of Orxy, Finergy and Trifugira Fuel companies. Mr. Enock Chihana, President of Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and Mr. Chris Chaima
Banda, Presidential Adviser on Strategy aided and abetted Hon. Newton Kambala
when he attempted to influence the award of the contract to supply 40000 metric
tons of fuel to a company known as Finergy,” reads the statement in part.
The three politicians are facing charges of attempting to influence a public officer to abuse office under section 25 b (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act, under the corrupt practices by or with public officers 17 of 2004, which reads;
“Any person who uses his influence on, or induces or persuades, a public officer to use, misuse or abuse his public office, or his position, status or authority as a public officer, for such person’s advantage or for the advantage of another person or to obtain, directly or indirectly, for such person or for another person any advantage, wealth, property, profit or business interest shall be guilty of an offence.”
The trio had been influencing NOCMA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Helen Buluma to abuse her office through awarding of contracts to the unqualified and disqualified.
According to the source, another top senior cabinet minister and a top MCP official is on ACB’s radar and will be arrested soon after the 41st SADC Summit ends for the same offence.
“Apart from this MCP’s senior cabinet minister, who will be nicked soon after the SADC meeting, there is another minister who is also on ACB’s watch to be arrested. Some Asian business magnets are lined up to face the law for their involvement in corrupt acts that sought to broker the supply contracts,” said the source.
In November 2020, NOCMA CEO Hellen Buluma reported that President Chakwera’s advisor, Chris Chaima Banda was on a mission to eliminate her and that he reportedly hired people to kill her for refusing to award fuel supply contracts to companies that have alleged connections to State House.
A leaked WhatsApp conversation between Buluma and Energy Minister Newton Kambala and a leaked memo to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the minister linked Buluma to Chaima Banda so that Buluma should award a fuel supply contract to a list of companies that include Finergy.
However, it was said that Buluma refused to entertain the demands and because of that it was claimed that Banda was reportedly trying to eliminate her.
In another leaked WhatsApp conversation with Banda, Buluma confronted Banda about his attempts to kill her arguing that she is being victimised for working professionally.
“Nkhani yake ya Finergy and the other suppliers yomwe ija mukufuna mundiphereyo? (You want to kill me over the Finergy issue?)
“And because I decided not to go along with you but be professional and follow process you have gone all out creating fake news to destroy me and pave a way for your person who will oversee the fuel tendering process to your favour,” said Buluma in the conversation.
In the conversations, Buluma also wondered if Banda, Kambala and AFORD President Enoch Chihana are working on behalf of the government in their attempts to interfere in the tender process.
Buluma reported the Kambala, Chihana and Chaima Banda to the Anti-Corruption Bureau alleging that the three were interfering in the tender process.
At the time, ACB confirmed to have receiving Buluma’s dossier.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :