* He impressed university students that they will soon be leaders in the corporate world, all arms of government and in the private sector
* Hence the need for them to utilise every chance and bring about change
* By ensuring the promotion of accountability and transparency at all levels
By Duncan Mlanjira
Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), Rev. Baxton Maulidi — who is the All African Conference of Churches Economic Justice & Accountability Ambassador — has reached out to youths on the need for students in public and private universities to inculcate a culture of desisting corruption and bribery.
Speaking on Saturday at the opening of a two-day conference for CCAP Students Organisations (CCAPSO) at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) in Blantyre, Rev. Maulidi impressed on the young minds that the students will soon be leaders in the corporate world, all arms of government and in the private sector.
Hence the need for them to utilise every chance and bring about change by ensuring the promotion of accountability and transparency at all levels.
He emphasized that corruption and bribery are eroding the Malawi society and shared with the over 500 students in attendance, the scriptures from Colossians 1 vs 9-14 — which encourages one to walk in the Lord’s path and do and act as God wants.
Rev Maulidi, who is also the Deputy General Secretary for the CCAP Blantyre Synod, encouraged the young minds to start acting at their level of influence.
The conference comes following a day-long meeting in Liwonde on Friday organised by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for all faith-based organisations on the role of Churches in the fight against corruption.
Rev. Maulidi has since applauded ACB’s Director General, Martha Chizuma and her team for their efforts in making sure that awareness messages on fighting corruption are put across all sectors of the society.
Malawi is on spotlight of the world in as far as corruption, bribery and plunder of the country’s resources, which have plunged the country into an economic crisis.
Just last Friday, the ACB arrested the country’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima on allegation that between March 2021 and October 2021, “he received US$280,000 and other items as advantage from Zuneth Sattar” — a British citizen, who is been accused of plundering Malawi government resources.
Chilima, who is also president of UTM Party, is alleged to have received the advantage as “a reward for Chilima to assist Xaviar Limited and Malachitte FZE, which are companies connected to Sattar to be awarded contracts by Malawi Government”.
He was granted bail ACB on the following counts:
* Three counts of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 24)1) of the Corrupt Practices Act as read with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act;
* Two counts of receiving advantage for using influence in regard to contracts contrary to section 29(1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices Act as read with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act; and
* One count of failing to make full report to a police officer or an officer of the Bureau that an advantage had been corruptly given contrary to section 36 (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
The spotlight on Chilima surfaced in June, when it was revealed that he was amongst those implicated in the corrupt dealings with Sattar that prompted President Lazarus Chakwera to withhold his deputy from any delegated duties while waiting for the ACB to substantiate its allegations against him and to make known its course of action in relation to all corruption cases.
In announcing this in a national address, Chakwera said the Vice-President’s office “is unique in that the Constitution does not provide for his suspension or removal from it by the President” and that “he holds that office by the will of Malawian voters” — which he respects, this is “the best” he could “do for now”.
The President also acted on others implicated that includes the Inspector General (IG) of the Malawi Police, George Kainja, who was found by the ACB to have been recorded through telephone conversations with Sattar — allegedly discussing procurement deals and kickbacks — thereby deemed to have been compromised and has been fired from office.
Sattar is on the radar of bribing public officers in Malawi Government in exchange for government contracts and the President revealed in June the ACB found that in the four years between 2017 and 2021, the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Defence Force awarded 16 contracts worth over US$150 million to five companies belonging to Sattar.
He also said the ACB has found that in some contracts, “the Malawi Government was defrauded through unfairly high and inflated prices” and that “one example the report cited involved a truck available on the market for US$200,000 being sold to the Malawi Government for over US$1.7 million”.
Chakwera also told Malawians that the ACB furnished him with information that “a total of 53 public officers and former public officers allegedly received money from Mr. Sattar in the eight months between March 2021 and October 2021”.
These public officers were specifically from Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Malawi Revenue Authority, Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority, Office of the President and Cabinet, Office of the Vice-President, Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Homeland Security, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Tourism, State House, Reserve Bank of Malawi, Financial Intelligence Authority, and even the ACB itself.
“Additionally, the Bureau has found that another set of 31 individuals from the private sector, the media, civil society, and the legal fraternity also received money from Mr. Sattar during those eight months, bringing the total of those on the Bureau’s list to 84,” the President said in June.
In August, the ACB also confirmed that they were investigating Chilima over 44 vehicles that his UTM Party procured using one of his friends, which raised eyebrows forcing one of the concerned citizens writing the ACB to investigate the matter.
All the 44 vehicles were registered in the name of Khwesi Nsusa, who is connected to the purchase of the vehicles and has been Chilima’s closest friend since their college days.
Soon after the purchase came into the limelight, private citizen, Gosten Chinseu is reported to have lodged a complaint at ACB which found merit in the request and has launched a full investigation in the matter.