More arrests are expected after Malawi Police Service (MPS) nabbed six senior officers in Lilongwe and Mzuzu on suspicions that they defrauded the service after creating a parallel administration account for the private jobs that ficers
engage in with organisations such as Malawi Revenue Authority and banks.
Reports say over K900 million has been defrauded for the past five years through the scheme.
National Police headquarters Deputy Public Relations Officer Peter Kalaya was tight lipped when quizzed to elaborate further.
“I can confirm that we have arrested some police officers in connection with fraud at the Malawi Police Service,” he said.
And when asked for names of police officers that have been arrested, Kalaya said he was not in a position to provide the names as the matter is under Investigation.
But our Investigations show that the officers taken into custody include commissioners that have been overseeing the Accounts Department at MPS.
Among them are Commissioner Tadius Samveka, Assistant Commissioner Kingsley Chizuma, Senior Superintendent Hawkins Chadzandiyani, Superintendent Enock Chulu, Superintendent Chimwemwe M’bwera, Sub Inspector Galipa Chilamiramadzi and Superintendent Chiyamirankhope, among others.
They are said to have created the parallel account, which has resulted in
K900 million going missing at the Police headquarters.
But our highly placed sources confided in us that the probe and net is widening, with more arrests expected as the six are only senior officers but there are junior officers that were colluding with them who are expected to be picked as well.
This is not the first time that police officers at Area 30 have been dragged in the mud on such matters as in 2013, a court jailed nine senior police officers to 14 years each for fraud.
They had been convicted of stealing a total of K 55 million.
“The nine had formed a network with civilians to siphon money from the Malawi Police Service through over-requisitioning of salaries and also underpaying taxes,” police prosecutor Happy Mkandawire had told AFP.
Mkandawire, who had led the prosecution team, said the nine were part of an original group of 15 suspects arrested in 2009 during a “clean-up exercise” of the police headquarters accounts department.
In 2018, MPS was again in the limelight for the wrong reasons after it awarded a K2.8 billion contract to Pioneer Investment to supply 500,000 packs of food to the service, in what became known as the food ration scandal, in which former president Peter Mutharika had been implicated.
Commenting on the latest development, social commentator Henry Chingaipe said it is common knowledge that over several years, a culture of recklessness with public finances got instituted and was reinforced.
“What would be interesting is to know when were the fraudulent activities carried out, when were they discovered, why was there no action immediately they were discovered and why this has come out now and is being acted on?” Chingaipe said.
The acts are believed to have happened over the past three years.
On Thursday, President Lazarus Chakwera dared controlling officers in public institutions to get down to work and clear what he has always described as rubble.