Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima Arrested On Corruption Charges
Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau has arrested and charged the country’s Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima over graft allegations, it said on Friday, November 25, 2022, following months of investigation over his conduct.
In a national address in June, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera stripped Chilima of his powers when the watchdog first accused him of corruption.
But at the time the president – who has waged a crackdown on corruption – said he had no constitutional authority to suspend or remove the vice president from office. He however barred Chilima from carrying out his duties.
Chilima was taken to court to face corruption charges, the corruption watchdog said in a statement.
Footage from local media showed supporters of Chilima and the police seemingly in a scuffle as he was being taken into court for the formal reading of charges.
“I have no comment to make. We will let the court process run its course,” Chilima told reporters outside court after being granted bail, according to media.
The watchdog alleged Chilima was rewarded for assisting Xaviar Limited and Malachitte FZE, two companies connected to British businessman Zuneth Sattar to be awarded contracts by the Malawi Government.
It has been investigating Sattar and other public officers in Malawi over alleged plundering of state resources by influencing awarding of contracts through the country’s public procurement system, it said.
“On 25th November, 2022, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima… on allegation that between March 2021 and October 2021, he received advantage in form of money amounting to USD 280,000 and other items from Zuneth Sattar as a reward…” the bureau said.
In August, the Financial Times reported that Sattar was under investigation by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) over alleged abuse of Malawi’s public procurement system. He had not been charged with any offence and denied wrongdoing, the FT said.
NCA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. Reuters could not immediately reach Sattar for comment.
In January this year, Chakwera dissolved his entire cabinet on corruption charges against three serving ministers.
Tragedy In Malawi As Football Referee Forced To Kill Player
Benjamin Foster, a referee, is facing murder charges after football players allegedly forced him to kill a member of the opposing team in southern Malawi, police said Friday, March 9, 2018.
He was overseeing a football match between two local teams, Billiat FC and Chilengo FC, in the town of Thyolo, Malawi on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, when Chilengo FC players refused to accept the referee’s decision to invalidate a goal.
In the ensuing scuffle, the referee fled to a nearby house, which the players lit to smoke him out, according to Foster.
When the referee ran out of the burning building, the players forced him to smack a Billiat FC player repeatedly with a stick, the spokesman said.
The player later died of injuries in hospital, added Foster.
“The referee turned himself over. He is facing murder charges,” he said.