According to the VP on Saturday, the new regime was intent on doing business anew by developing new infrastructure and finishing the ones left by the regime of former President Peter Mutharika in order to create a healthy economy for everyone to succeed in the country.
Chilima, who is also Economic Planning and Public Sector Reforms Minister, said Malawians were “looking for jobs, and good business opportunities, and we want a country where people are independent.”
“People should be independent from the bondage of poverty. People should not be at the mercy of others, either, as beggars or surviving on handouts. This is not the kind of Malawi we want,” he said.
He said the new government would come up various programmes as pledged during the political campaigns to alleviate the country’s current dire situation.
First on the agenda was the need to end impunity and rampant corruption in state-owned companies and the mainstream of government itself, Chilima said.
In this regard, he said the government would follow up on legal processes to arrest those who abused office by stealing state funds or committed crimes with political backing.
These comments were followed by this weekend’s arrests of several people working for the government. They have been taken into custody for further investigations into how they handled their official duties.
One of these is a senior official, Rosa Mbilizi, who is deputy commissioner-general of the Malawi Revenue Service.
Mbilizi is under custody for authorising Mutharika to import – duty-free – 400,000 bags of cement worth over US$3 million from abroad when the country had two cement-making plants.
When the issue broke out in the press last month, a State House press secretary Mgeme Kalilani said the president was within his rights to order the cement duty-free.
Another senior official, deputy police commissioner Evelista Chisale, alongside 11 fellow police officers, were arrested for the alleged killing of an albino kidnapping suspect Buleya Lule while in their custody earlier this year.
Lule’s post-mortem examination revealed that the deceased had allegedly been electrocuted in one of the police cells in the capital Lilongwe.
A third senior officer, Gerald Viol, who was deputy general manager of the National Strategic Reserve Silos, allegedly exchanged his government-issued vehicle with a loan shark but reported it as “missed.”
He, too, was arrested over the weekend and is in custody, a police spokesperson said.
According to Chilima, the Tonse Alliance government of President Lazarus Chakwera was determined to clear the “rubble of corruption” from the country in order to build a new Malawi which will end poverty, where people “eat three times a day.”