The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)has dismissed claims that businessperson Zameer Karim and two senior police officers about six months after revelations of suspected dubious transactions in the K2.7 billion Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations dealwas nothing more than a glitzy publicity stunt.
Karim, police commissioner Innocent Bottoman and senior superintendent Grant Kachingwe were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday for various offences in relation to the food rations deal through alleged acquisition of proceeds of crime.
But commentators have treated the arrest with a pinch of a salt.
Idriss Ali Nassah, a fierce social and political commentator, took to Facebook to say Malawians will not get justice in the matter.
“Don’t get too excited because Zameer Karim and his associates spent a few hours talking to the police. It’s an arranged catch-and-release tactic. Nothing will come out of it,” wrote Nassah.
He fears that President Peter Mutharika could be “compromised” because has previously faced questions over whether he profited from the award of a K2.7 billion (about $3.9 million) contract to supply rations to the police force.
But ACB officials say the President does not want to interfere with the due process of the law and is infact keen to see justice be done.
A leaked investigative report alleged that Karim after getting his payment on April 12 2016, the following day, he deposited K145 million ( $200 000) into a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) account at Standard Bank whose sole signatory is President Mutharika.
The ruling party was forced to return it and an ACB probe subsequently cleared Mutharika of personal wrongdoing from the transaction.
Mutharika said recently that as May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections is nigh, detractors will target DPP leaders with smear propapanda.
“They will try to make us look corrupt because they know we make every effort to run a clean government,” said Mutharika.
He continued: “They know we have turned around the economy from economic crisis to economic growth because of sound economic management. Our detractors know it well.
“Whatever you will hear in the campaign to come, do not be shaken. Do not lose focus. Let us keep going.”
ACB have since assured the trio will face prosecution and no escape from the long arm of the law.
Officer argue that the fact that they have been arrested and formally charged, show there is no shielding for the three.
Karim of Pioneer Investments is facing three counts of theft of K466 million contrary to Section 278 of the Penal Code, uttering a false document presented to CDH Investment Bank to access a loan contrary to sections 356 and 360 of the Penal Code and acquiring proceeds of crime (K466 million) contrary to Section 42 (1) of the Financial Crimes Act.
On the other hand, Bottoman is accused of uttering false documents which the magistrate said he presented to CDH Investment Bank to enable Karim’s firm, Pioneer Investments, to access a loan.
Bottoman is also accused of abuse of office contrary to Section 25 (b)(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) while serving as director of finance at MPS headquarters.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :