Deputy Chief Executive Officer for National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA), Hellen Buluma, has officially lodged a complaint to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) over alleged attempts to interfere in awarding of oil supply contracts by a Cabinet minister, a senior advisor to President Lazarus Chakwera and leader of one of the members of Tonse Alliance partners.
The officials named are Minister of Energy Newton Kambala, presidential advisor Chris Chaima Banda and Aford president Enoch Chihana.
ACB Director Reyneck Matemba has confirmed the development that he has received the letter from Buluma.
“We received the letter on Friday (yesterday) and we will follow up the matter,” Matemba said.
The named suppliers are Orxy, Finergy, Trafigura and Sahara Energy, and Buluma further claims that Kambala asked her to meet Chihana to, allegedly, negotiate a contract for one of the suppliers.
A member of the Tonse Alliance said the “rubble” of oilgate threatens to tear apart the Chakwera administration as Buluma’s allegations will open a pandora box over the corruption interest of the new government and “blackmail” tactics that the Nocma boss is alleged to be playing against some senior officials of government.
Some members of the government are said to be supporting Buluma as she is bent to be a loose cannon.
Buluma, a known member of the the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has of late been affiliated to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) following her close links with its powerful officials including MCP Secretary General Elsenhower Mkaka.
MCP’s social media team has of late been supporting Buluma in a show of a political swing and interest in her hitting back following the removal as acting CEO at the State oil company.
The development will be a litmus test for President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration which swept to power in June this year on wave of euphoria amid pledges to fight worsening corruption which became endemic under predecessor governments.