Malawi vice president arrested over US$280 000 bribe

Dr Saulos Chilima
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Rustenburg – Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima was arrested for corruption amounting to US$280 000 on Friday.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) alleges Chillima received a kickback of US$280 000 (about 300 million Malawi Kwacha) to help a British business tycoon, Zuneth Sattar secure Malawi government contracts.

“Between March 2021 and October 2021, [Chilima] received advantage in form of money amounting to USD 280,000 and other items from Zuneth Sattar as a reward to assist Xaviar Limited and Malachitte FZE, which are companies connected to Zuneth Sattar to be awarded contracts by the Malawi government,” ABC spokesperson Egrita Ndala.

Ndala said Chilima was taken to court on Friday morning to be formally charged of three counts of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 24(1) of the [Malawi] Corrupt Practices Act as read with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act”.

He would also be charged of two counts of receiving advantage for using influence in regard to public contracts and another count of failing to make a full report to a police officer or an officer of the bureau that an advantage had been corruptly given to him.

According to online news outlet, Malawi24, Chilima is facing up to 12 years of imprisonment should he be found guilty of any of the charges.

Section 396 of the Malawi Penal Code asserts that a person guilty of corruption practice “shall be liable to imprisonment for 12 years”.

Malawi24 reported that in June, President Lazarus Chakwera stopped delegating duties to Chilima following the bribery allegations.

Sattar, who was alleged to have bribed over 50 public officers to secure contracts which were allegedly used to defraud government of billions of kwacha, was arrested in the United Kingdom but was yet to be charged.