Malawi’s second main opposition party United Democratic Front (UDF) has sided with the country’s President for his decisive action on corruption including withholding delegated duties to his Vice for being mentioned as involved in massive graft.
President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on Tuesday announced the executive actions he has taken following an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ABC) that named top government officials as being involved in receiving huge sums of money from businessman Zuneth Sattar to influence award of contracts.
The President announced the firing of Police Chief Jimmy Kainja and the withholding of delegated duties to Vice President Saulosi Klaus Chilima, the two of those mentioned in the report.
In a statement, UDF said it salutes President Chakwera for the disciplinary measures he took against those public officers.
UDF has also asked the graft busting body, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to release comprehensive corruption report, with particulars of the alleged offenses.
An ACB report on corruption kingpin Zuneth Sattar says he might have bribed 84 people from public officers, civil servants to judges and journalists as well as politicians who received huge sums of money and other gifts including expensive vehicles and television sets.
“We agree that the bureau, in its independent judgement, should release reports to the public which are comprehensive and contain particulars of the alleged wrong doing to avoid actions being taken against otherwise innocent Malawians and infringing the principle enshrined under article 4.2 of the Republic Constitution that any accused citizen has a right to be presumed innocent, unless and until they are convicted according to the law,” says the statement.
The statement has been signed by party leader Lilian Patel and Secretary General Kandi Padambo.
The statement comes after President Chakwera faulted ACB for failing to state comprehensively on what the Vice President and Chief of Staff for State Residences Prince Kapondamgaga did in relation to Sattar’s alleged corrupt dealings.
On Friday it was widely rumoured that the ACB wanted to interrogate him, a situation that led to his UTM supporters converging at his Area 43 house in protest and in an attempt to bar the ACB to get to the premises.
Chilima has so far hinted that his mention as being involved in Sattar’s corrupt activities is politically motivated.
He told his supporters who gathered outside his house that in 2020 he humbled himself but some quarters are taking his humility as being stupid.
Chilima whose office issued a statement denied any wrong doing could not personally comment on the allegations, promising his followers that he will speak in the coming week.