Anti-Corruption Bureau keeps tight lid on Peter Mutharika grill

Samuel Tembenu

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is today expected to conduct last week’s failed interview with former president Peter Mutharika on allegations of abuse of his Tax Payer Identification Number (TPIN) when he was in office but is keeping its cards close to its chest.

It is alleged that cement worth K5 billion was imported into the country, duty-free, using Mutharika’s TPIN.

Initially, ACB had indicated that its officials would interview Mutharika from July 20 but later shifted the interrogation date to July 27 [today].


ACB Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala Monday declined to comment on the rescheduled meeting.

“The information we gave last time stands. This is an operational matter so I cannot be asking them [investigators] at every step. If we have information contrary to what we indicated earlier, we will communicate,” she said.

In the initial communication announcing the interview, the bureau described it as a “normal” process that started in 2020.


“The bureau hopes that this will put the record straight on the various stories circulating in the social media surrounding this matter,’ the statement reads.

On Monday last week, Mutharika’s lawyers queried the manner in which ACB officials were handling the Democratic Progressive Party leader’s scheduled interrogation, wondering why ACB officials were refusing to grant him ample time for preparations.

Our sources had indicated at that time that his lawyers needed at least 21 days to prepare fully for the interrogation.

However, Mutharika’s lead lawyer Samuel Tembenu, in an interview with The Daily Times, expressed displeasure with the way the ACB was handling the matter.

“We asked the ACB to provide us with some information relating to the matter so that we can easily prepare but they did not provide the information. So, we have no choice but to go by their demands.

“Meanwhile, we are preparing for the interview and we will see how much progress we will make before determining our position,” Tembenu said.

When the matter first came to light, the ACB arrested several people including former deputy commissioner general of Malawi Revenue Authority Rosa Mbilizi, former State House chief of staff Peter Mukhitho and businessman Shafer Ahmed Chunara.

But, at press conferences he has held since being voted out of office on June 23 last year, Mutharika has been denying his involvement in the issue.

As part of their benefits, Malawi’s presidents are allowed to import some items for personal use without paying duty.

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