Malawi’s vice president, Saulos Chilima, has been arrested on corruption charges.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the country announced the development in a statement on Friday.
According to ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala, the arrest was made in connection with allegations that the vice-president received $280,000 in exchange for awarding government contracts to Zuneth Sattar, a British-Malawian businessman.
ACB had submitted a report to Malawi’s president, Lazarus Chakwera, in June, detailing allegations of bribery against public officers, including Chilima, in connection with dealings with Sattar.
Following the ACB report, Chakwera stripped the vice-president of all delegated powers.
“I have decided to withdraw all delegated functions from vice president Saulos Chilima,” Malawi’s president said.
Chilima stated that he would not interfere with the investigations, but would challenge his involvement in court.
According to an ACB spokesperson, the vice-president will face three counts of corruption in court.
“On 25th November, 2022, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, vice president of the Republic of Malawi on allegation that between March 2021 and October 2021, he received advantage in form of money amounting to USD 280,000 and other items from Zuneth Sattar as a reward for Dr. Chilima to assist Xaviar Limited and Malachite FZE, which are companies connected to Zuneth Sattar to be awarded contracts by the Malawi government,” the statement reads.
“Dr. Chilima will be taken to court where he is expected to be charged as follows:
“Three counts of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 24(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act as read with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act.
“Two counts of receiving advantage for using influence in regard to contracts contrary to section 29 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices Act as read with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act.
“One count of failing to make a full report to a police officer or an officer of the bureau that an advantage had been corruptly given contrary to section 36 (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.”