Muhara to ‘surrender’ to ACB
The hunt is over as Lloyd Muhara, former chief secretary in the Democratic Progressive Party-led government, is expected to hand himself over to the AntiCorruption Bureau (ACB) in Lilongwe tomorrow.
Muhara is responding to the warrant of arrest that the ACB obtained for his arrest in relation to a land purchase deal in what used to be Kanjedza Forest Reserve, which also culminated in the arrest of former minister of Lands Symon Vuwa Kaunda and Defence Ministry Principal Secretary Bright Kumwembe.
ACB Director General Reyneck Matemba confirmed the development yesterday, saying the High Court Judge had indicated to the bureau that he would hand himself in on Thursday.
“There’s a warrant of arrest for him,” Matemba said, further indicating that the former chief secretary and Malawi Revenue Authority commissioner-general would be arrested when he hands himself in.
Muhara was said to be in the United States when ACB arrested Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Member of Parliament for Nkhata Bay Central Constituency Vuwa Kaunda on Tuesday, December 8, with bureau officials urging him to return home voluntarily.
The ACB made the appeal because Muhara’s warrant of arrest was issued together with that of Vuwa Kaunda, who was later charged with, among other things, counts related to abuse of office when he was minister of Lands during the DPP regime.
Vuwa Kaunda was released on bail. Democratic Progressive Party regional governor for the Southern Region Charles Mchacha was, in connection with the same issue, arrested on November 29 for, allegedly under questionable circumstances, acquiring Plot Number LW1366 at Limbe WestKanjedza Forest in Blantyre.
The arrest of Mchacha triggered the arrest of Kumwembe, both of whom were charged with the offence of giving false information to the Anti-Corruption Bureau and neglect of official duty, according to a statement which ACB officials issued.
“On 12th February 2020 the Anti-Corruption Bureau received a complaint alleging that the Department of Lands leased the plot (Kanjedza Forest) belonging to the Department of Forestry to Honourable Charles Mchacha without following proper procedures,” the ACB statement indicated.
Kumwembe is facing two counts of neglect of duty and giving false information. Both Mchacha and Kumwembe are currently on bail In October this year ACB indicated that it was investigating 71 cases related to fraud and corruption with a collective monetary value of K1.2 trillion— all reported since the change of government in June this year.