All is not well in Saulos Chilima’s United Transformation Movement (UTM) following his verbal appointment of Khwesi Msusa as the new National Director of Operations.
The appointment has revealed cracks in the national executive committee with other senior officials expressing dissatisfaction due to the fact that Msusa is on the radar of Anti Corruption Bureau for his involvement in the purchase of 44 brand new cars.
Since last year, Msusa has been going to ACB to answer questions from investigators who are forming a professional opinion on whether his involvement in the procurement of the said vehicles guarantees prosecution.
His appointment was announced by the newly appointed Publicity Secretary, Felix Njawala via a simple flier on Facebook and WhatsApp.
“Most of us learnt about the appointment via social media. Surely, we are playing with fire here. Our party leader himself is answering corruption charges and we are busy bringing people facing a similar predicament into the national executive committee. Where is our seriousness here,” queried one senior NEC member who chose not to be named for fear of reprisals.
The senior official noted that there was no need to bring Msusa in the mainstream political body as is already close to the Vice President and runs his errands on daily basis.
Sometime last year ACB said it had found merit in the request by a private citizen and had launched a full investigation in the matter. ACB spokesperson, Egrita Ndala, told the media that after reviewing the complaint by one Gosten Chinseu, the bureau found merit to act on the issue.
UTM has been rocked with corruption despite preaching against it during the 2019 and 2020 elections.
Currently, Chilima is answering six counts of corruption charges in relation to his involvement with British businessman Zuneth Sattar. He is suspected to have abused the powers of his office to influence awarding of government tenders to Sattar’s firms and influencing quick payment.