Uncertainty surrounds the commencement of trial of former Deputy Commissioner of Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Roza Mbilizi who was arrested by police on allegations that she took part in facilitating the importation of cement using former president Peter Mutharika’s Taxpayer Identification Number (Tpin) duty free.
But a month after her arrest, Malawi Police Service (MPS), says it is not sure when investigations into the matter will be concluded to pave the way for court proceedings.
National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera, in an interview Thursday, was at pains to explain the progress of the investigations in Mbilizi’s case. She was released on police bail without being formally charged.
Kadadzera could also not say why the police rushed to arrest Mbilizi before concluding the investigations.
Immediately after the former MRA official was released, the social media was awash with reports that some top officials in the Tonse Alliance administration had influenced the process.
However, Kadadzera denied that the law enforcers are being influenced by some authorities to effect arrests or release some high-profile people who have been arrested in the past five weeks.
“We have been saying times without number that we are investigating several cases including murder, money laundering and theft. In the process, we are calling different people for questioning. You also have to note that not all individuals we are interviewing are suspects,” he said.
Kadadzera refused to be drawn to specifically provide details on the status of Mbilizi’s case, saying doing so will jeopardise investigations “which are going on smoothly”.
In an interview yesterday, Executive Director of Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency, Willy Kambwandira, whose organisation has recently launched a campaign to demand justice and recovery of stolen money, said he expects the police to handle all cases professionally.
While looking at the previous administration, Kambwandira also urged the Tonse Alliance government to ensure that there is transparency and accountability on how its officers are handling government affairs to avoid a repetition of the plunder that ACB Director-General Reyneck Matemba described as a Tsunami.
Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale, businessman Mahmed Chunara and former Director of State Residences Peter Mukhito were also arrested in relation to the matter in which the former head of state’s Tpin was used to import 60,000 tonnes of cement worth about K5 billion duty free.