The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma says not all the 84 individuals named in its report to President Lazarus Chakwera alleged to have received various gifts from Zunneth Sattar maybe be taken to task.
Sattar, a United Kingdom-based business person, who is facing corruption allegations in that country, is alleged to have bribed politically-exposed people in Malawi to gain favours for public contracts.
The 84 allegedly received various gifts from Sattar, including money, cars, phones, TV sets, Ipads, pairs of shoes and geysers, among other items, according to ACB.
In a written response to our questionnaire yesterday, Chizuma said the ACB’s mandate is to prove corruption and, therefore, its task is to link these gifts to corruption.
She said: “The 84 people are suspected to have received money, gifts etc from Sattar in the current investigations. This number is as of the date of the report. Further investigations may reveal more names or indeed some names may be removed.”
In a national address on June 21 2022, President Lazarus Chakwera said the bureau’s report on Sattar, case which was submitted to him found that among the 84 individuals who allegedly received money from the UK-based businessperson in 2021, 13 had been extensively investigated to the point of concluding that they conducted themselves corruptly.
The President swiftly sacked Kainja and suspended State Residences chief of staff Prince Kapondamgaga and former chairperson for the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) John-Suzi Banda over the matter. He also withdrew delegated powers from Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
The bureau moved swiftly to arrest Inspector General of Police George Kainja and police legal officer Mwabi Kaluba. ACBs Chief legal and prosecution officer Victor Chiwala said four more arrests were imminent.
But both Chizuma and ACB principal public relations officer Egrita Ndala indicated that the four facing arrest were just under investigation.
An inside source at the bureau said every complaint received is subjected to scrutiny by a multi-departmental Case Review Committee and once considered worth an investigation, a docket is opened.
The source said after an investigation, a report is submitted to the legal and prosecution section for a legal opinion on whether there is enough ground for prosecution or case.