State House has denied social media reports that it is remote-controlling the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on the impending arrest and questioning of former President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Tuesday.
Following an announcement by ACB that it will be questioning Mutharika over the abuse of his taxpayer identification number (TPIN) by his cronies and businesspersons, social media has been awash with stories purporting to say ACB is under political duress to investigate the former Head of State.
The ‘interview’ is part of the graft busting body’s ongoing investigations into allegations of abuse of his duty free status in which about 1.2 million bags of cement worth MK5 billion were alleged to have been imported duty free using Mutharika’s TPIN.
ACB Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala, in a statement issued over the weekend, said the Bureau will interview Mutharika from Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
Ndala assured that this is a normal and legal process, which started in 2020.
However, speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday, State House Press Secretary, Brian Banda, said ACB is independent and that its decisions are not being influenced by neither the State President or anyone else in the government.
Banda said the President has been so clear on the matter where he has stressed that ACB should be independent and that is why the State House will ‘never interfere with the affairs of ACB’.
“The President has always stressed that the decision of the ACB shall always be independent and the State House will not at any time interfere with the activities of the ACB,” he said.
Last year, ACB arrested Mutharika’s former bodyguard Norman Chisale, former Chief of Staff for State Residences, Peter Mukhito, former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) top official Rosa Mbilizi and businessman Shafee Chunala over their involvement in the saga.
Last year, ACB froze bank accounts for Mutharika, former First Lady Gertrude Mutharika and Chisale in relation to the case.
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