Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) offices in Lilongwe on Saturday morning was gutted by “strange” fire barely after Africa Confidential published a report that infighting in ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has resulted in senior party figures reporting each other to the graft-busting body on wrongful enrighment and graft.
ACB director general Lucas Kondowe confirmed that the fire started at one of the rooms at the graft busting body’s offices in City Centre.
According to Kondowe, whose contract has expired and is leaving the bureau, the inferno started in the switch room housing a standby generator but did not cause any major damage to the building and property including files.
G4 security guards and other workers reportedly managed to put out the fire before it could spread to other rooms.
The cause of the fire has not been estab;ished but It is being suspected that an electrical fault had triggered the fire.
Africa Confidential, a London-based influential intelligence publication, reported this week that several DPP officials have their dockets at ACB over being “overnight millionaire”.
It mentioned DPP organising secretary Richard Makondi facing probe and DPP director of operations and former Mutharika’s confidant Ben Phiri, a self-confessed millionaire, investigated over the plunder that went on at the Roads Authority and the Technical and Vocational Authority. The bosses of the two bodies were sacked and Roads Authority former CEO Trevor Hiwa is facing prosecution on corruption.
Africa Confidential also reported tha Local Government Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa is accused of being another overnight millionaire and faces allegations of corruption over military procurement.
“The CAB has received files and notes of alleged corruption among the ruling clique. Most Ministers and senior offucuals of the DPP who have become rich overnight are under investigations,” Africa Confidential quoted a lead investigator at ACB (name shielded.)
It said corruption in Malawi government is “endemic”.
The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) – an umbrella mother body of 122 Church denominations and Christian organizations- is on record saying President Peter Mutharika and ACB’s kid gloves handling of the maize scam corruption which implicated fired Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda eroded the few gains registered in the fight against corruption over the recent years.
EPJC National Chairperson Rev. Dr. Zacc Kawalala pointed out that despite the conventional wisdom for the President to fire Chaponda pending conclusion of the investigations coupled by a High Court order in indirectly compelling him to act, President Mutharika remained steadfast in publicly defending Chaponda’s involvement in the maize scam.
“Mutharika’s failure to act coupled by Chaponda’s, a senior and powerful official in the ruling party and cabinet, failure to resign and comply with the Court’s order sent the signal that there were sacred cows that were immune to investigations and above the law in as far as the fight against corruption is concerned,” Kawalala said a statement.
The statement added that even when circumstances [the discovery of foreign currencies in Chaponda’s house by ACB officials] forced the President to finally relieve Chaponda of his duties as a minister, it was apparent that the decision was made with reservations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :