Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima Arrested By Anti-Corruption Bureau

Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau on Friday said it has arrested the country’s Vice President Saulos Chilima over corruption allegations, reported The BBC.

In a statement, the ACB said Chilima is accused of accepting money and other items in exchange for awarding government contracts.

According to the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, he assisted Xaviar Limited and Malachitte FZE, two companies linked to British businessman Zuneth Sattar, to win contracts in return for bribe.

The ACB arrested Chilima on allegation that he received bribe in form of money amounting to $280,000 and other items from Zuneth Sattar as a reward between March 2021 and October 2021.

Dr. Chilima pleaded not guilty to the corruption charges in court on Friday. He is currently out on bail. He had already been stripped of his powers in June when he was the Anti-Corruption Bureau first accused him of the corruption charges.

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera dissolved his entire cabinet earlier this year after three serving ministers were accused of corruption charges. Several ministers and former ministers have already been detained in connection with this corruption case, in which 53 public officials have been accused of receiving money from Sattar between March and October 2021.

In June this year, Chakwera suspended Chilima’s powers after he was first named in corruption allegations by the corruption watchdog. As per Malawi’s constitution, the president could not suspend or remove the vice president because he was an elected official.

Dr. Chilima came to power in 2020 as the running mate of President Chakwera. They belong to different political parties but entered a coalition to defeat the incumbent Peter Mutharika. He had also joined Chakwera in challenging fraudulent elections in 2019, which resulted in a court-sanctioned poll the following year in which Chakwera defeated former leader Peter Mutharika.

Malawi was ranked 110th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index last year.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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