The vice president of the country, Saulos Chilima, is being accused of accepting money and other things in order to give them government contracts.
The anti-corruption bureau in the country, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, has arrested the country’s deputy head of state, Saulos Chilima, on corruption charges, it said on Friday.
Mr. Chilima is accused of accepting money and other things in order to award government contracts, the ACB said in its statement.
The vice president will be taken to court where he is expected to be charged with three counts of corruption by a public official, among other charges, the corruption investigator added.
Local media showed Chilima’s supporters and the police seemingly arguing as they took him to the court for his arraignment.
“I have no comment. We will allow the court to proceed smoothly,” said Chilima while speaking to the media outside the court after being granted bail, according to the media.
The ACB statement said Chilima was awarded for helping Xaviar Limited and Malachitte FZE, two companies linked to British businessman Zuneth Sattar, to win contracts.
The agency has been investigating Mr. Sattar and other government officials in Malawi for embezzling public funds by attracting people to award contracts through the country’s public procurement process.
The ACB arrested Chilima “on the basis that between March 2021 and October 2021, he received financial incentives” worth $280,000 and other items “from Zuneth Sattar as reward”, it said.
In August, the Financial Times reported that Sattar was being investigated by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) for alleged abuse of the Malawi procurement system. He has not been charged and has pleaded not guilty, the report said.
The NCA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, and Sattar could not be reached, Reuters reported.
At the beginning of this year, the president of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, dismissed all his ministers in a corruption case involving three ministers who were working. Several ministers and former ministers have already been arrested in connection with the case, with 53 officials accused of receiving money from Sattar between March and October 2021.
In June this year, Chakwera stripped Chilima of all powers after he was first mentioned in corruption cases by the ACB. According to the laws of Malawi, the president could not suspend or remove Chilima because he was elected.
In 2020, Mr. Chilima joined forces with Mr. Chakwera to win the presidential election, which was successful in the fight against corruption.