Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima has broken his silence about the allegations that he benefitted from a corruption scandal in which a British businessman is accused of splashing millions to influence procurement decisions.
Chilima was cited in a report by Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) as one of 84 public and private sector officials who received bribes from Zuneth Sattar to influence the awarding of contracts of government ministries and agencies to companies owned by the businessman.
However, Chilima’s spokesperson Pilirani Phiri on Friday dismissed the allegations, accusing the ACB of allegedly conducting “a prejudicial one-sided” investigation without giving him the opportunity to defend himself.
“The State Vice President further finds it curious that, to date, the bureau has not confronted him with the said allegations of criminal conduct so that he has the opportunity of making representations on the same,” Phiri said in a statement.
He added: “Instead, a prejudicial one-sided public narrative has been sustained for months now which has incited public anger against the so called ‘mentioned’ individuals who helplessly watch their lives being ruined as they wait for the opportunity to voice their side of the story.”
President Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday clipped Chilima’s powers for his alleged role in the Sattar corruption scandal and fired the country’s police chief George Kainja.
The president withheld any delegated duties from Chilima pending the outcome of further investigations by the ACB into the alleged involvement of the vice president and other senior government officials in the scandal.