ACB arrests fired IG implicated corruption case involving Sattar; As Chilima breaks silence on his own corruption involvement

Fired IG George Kainja

* Chilima maintains that at no point has he ever been involved in any perverted or criminal scheme as suggested by the Bureau

* He further finds it curious that, to date, the Bureau has not confronted him with the said allegations of criminal conduct

* So that he has the opportunity of making representations on the same

By Duncan Mlanjira

Breaking news coming in is that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested recently-fired Inspector General of Police, George Kainja alongside Mwabi Kaluwa — another senior officer in the Malawi Police Service (MPS) — over allegations that they recieved bribes from high profile corruption suspect Zunneth Sattar.

Sattar at the centre of the corruption probe

Reports indicate that the two were been cautioned by the ACB in Lilongwe and Mzuzu respectively and are expected to appear before court later on today (Thursday) — as according to insiders which NationOnline’s Suzgo Chitete contacted.

Meanwhile, Vice-President, Saulos Chilima — who was also implicated in Sattar’s corruption investigations, through which President Lazarus Chakwera has sidelined him from any delegated duties while waiting for the ACB to substantiate its corruption allegations against him — has  broken his silence on the matter.

In a statement issued today by his director of communications, Pilirani Phiri, Chilima maintains that “at no point has he ever been involved in any perverted or criminal scheme as suggested by the Bureau”.

In the statement, Chilima is said to have taken note of the contents of the report submitted by the ACB to Chakwera as relayed in the President’s national address on Tuesday “that apparently makes serious allegations of criminal conduct against him”.

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It is also noted by Chilima that in making his reference to the allegations, Chakwera “correctly observed” in his address that “the Report does not present any detail of the alleged criminal conduct”.

Chilima says he finds the manner in which the Bureau has proceeded as “very troubling”, stressing that the ACB has in essence accused him of a crime without providing any particulars or evidence in support of the crime”.

Says the statement: “The State Vice-President further finds it curious that, to date, the Bureau has not confronted him with the said allegations of criminal conduct so that he has the opportunity of making representations on the same.

Vice-President Chilima

“Instead a prejudicial one-sided public narrative has been sustained for months now which has invited public anger against the so called ‘mentioned’ individuals who helplessly watch their lives being ruined as they wait for the opportunity to voice their side of the story. There is profound sense of justice that is entirely lacking in this approach.

“For the record, the State Vice-President vehemently denies the allegations that have been leveled against him, and will welcome the opportunity — at an appropriate time — of challenging the said allegations.

“The State Vice-President wishes to state that while the Bureau’s efforts to fight corruption deserve the unwavering support of well-meaning Malawians, the fight must always be waged within the confines of the law.”

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He further stresses that the investigation process “must not be abused for political or other objectives”, saying “one requirement of the law is that every person must be presumed to be innocent until a competent court of law finds them guilty, and further that accusations of criminality should be made within the space of judicial proceedings”.

“This enshrines that the fight against corruption remains a noble enterprise and does not descend into a discredited path of political witch-hunting.

“The State Vice-President wishes to state that he entered public service to serve the interests of Malawians, and that at no point has he ever been involved in any perverted or criminal scheme as suggested by the Bureau, or at all; nor has he ever deployed the office to which the people of Malawi entrusted him in aid of any perverted or criminal scheme.”

The Director of Communications emphasises that Chilima “remains confident that any due process initiated to test the scurrilous allegations now made against him would vindicate the hope Malawians placed in him and looks forward to that occasion”.

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