Malawi Police Service (MPS) agents in Lilongwe Monday arrested former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor Dalitso Kabambe on suspicion that he abused office during his tenure at the central bank.
Kabambe’s arrest came barely 24 hours after law enforcers arrested former RBM deputy governor Henry Mathanga and two others on similar grounds.
MPS spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the development.
“He is in custody at Lumbadzi Police Station in Lilongwe. Police will give more details later, including the day and time the suspect is expected to appear before court,” Kadadzera said.
RBM sources told The Daily Times Monday that, among other things, the four are suspected to have processed a transfer of about K4.3 billion from the central bank’s accounts on the eve of the announcement of results for the June 23 2020 court-ordered fresh presidential election.
In December last year, auditors instituted a forensic appraisal of RBM to ascertain how its affairs had been managed to that point, with the central bank’s spokesperson Onellie Nkuna indicating at the time that the audit would be concluded in the first quarter of 2021.
“The forensic audit is in progress and, as at now, nothing is conclusive. It is expected that the forensic audit will conclude during the first quarter of 2021. The bank, being a public institution, will share the results of the audit with all stakeholders,” Nkuna said at the time.
She said when the Tonse Alliance-led administration was voted into power, it commissioned a forensic audit that would indicate if, indeed, there were anomalies in running central bank affairs.
On Sunday, Human Rights Defenders Coalition Chairperson Gift Trapence said his organisation was impressed that its call for the arrest of former RBM employees had been considered.
“There have been a lot of suspected allegations of dubious transactions [especially] towards the [May 21 2019] elections by the mother bank [RBM] and Malawians will now know the truth about these transactions,” Trapence said.
On July 7 last year, President Lazarus Chakwera replaced Kabambe with Wilson Banda at RBM.
This prompted Kabambe to drag RBM and the office of the Attorney General to the Industrial Relations Court, demanding K2.3 billion for unlawful and unfair dismissal.