By Deogratias Mmana
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Kezzie Msukwa over alleged corruption in land deals.
ACB Director General Martha Chizuma confirmed the arrest Friday.
“Yes, we have executed the warrant,” Chizuma said.
Earlier in the day, Chizuma briefed reporters that Msukwa, who was to hand himself to the ACB, had gone through a hospital in Lilongwe.
Asked when the ACB would take Msukwa to court, Chizuma said: “We are waiting to hear about his diagnosis.”
The ACB said Friday in a statement signed by its spokesperson Egrita Ndala that its investigations have so far established that in relation to the mentioned land matters, Msukwa on four occasions corruptly used his official powers contrary to Section 25 (1) as read together with section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act.
In the statement, the ACB says it has been investigating allegations that Zuneth Sattar and his agent Ashok Kumar Sreedharan, aka Ashok Nair, have been giving bribes to politically exposed persons with the aim of influencing various Malawi Government Departments to corruptly award contracts to companies belonging to Sattar.
The statement adds that during those investigations, the bureau established that Sattar through Nair, engaged in some corrupt practices in some land related matters in Area 46, Lilongwe District and Chipoka in Salima District.
Yesterday, the Chief Resident Magistrate denied Nair bail and adjourned the case to January 17, 2022.
Nair has been remanded to Maula prison.
The ACB said Msukwa, in his capacity as Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, between July and August in Lilongwe, being concerned with a land dispute matter connected with his jurisdiction in Lilongwe’s Area 46 plot number 46/2057 between Sattar and local inhabitants, corruptly obtained an advantage in form of a Mercedes Benz C Class from Sattar for the advantage of a Moses Kafunda.
Msukwa is also alleged to have corruptly obtained from Sattar, through Jussab, the sum of K4 million to cool down the local inhabitants.
In the third count, Msukwa is alleged to have corruptly obtained from Sattar, through his agent Ashok Kumar Sreedharan, the sum of K15 million to buy land in Chipoka, Salima District.
In the fourth count, Msukwa is alleged to have corruptly obtained K4 million from Sattar to pay duty for the Mercedes Benz which Sattar bought for him.