National Intelligence Service blank on Zuneth Sattar


The National Intelligence Service (NIS) has said it has no information that corruption suspect Zuneth Sattar is a wanted person in the country to warrant interception of his movements.

NIS Director-General Dokani Ngwira said this in a written response to the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) which, in a letter dated May 30 2022, questioned the service’s failure to detect Sattar’s arrival and presence in the country and act on him.

Malawi-born but United Kingdom (UK)-based Sattar is a business person who is being investigated by both the British government and the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly being involved in dubious procurement deals with some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).


Reports indicate that Sattar travelled to Malawi on March 16 2022 and returned to the UK on March 25 2022.

“The NIS works with the ACB when [the] need arises.

“However, on the issue of Sattar, neither the ACB nor the Malawi Police Service (MPS) informed the NIS that the subject is a wanted person,” Ngwira’s letter reads.


He adds that the NIS, which reports to the Office of the President and Cabinet, remains committed to fulfilling its mandate which, among other things, involves detecting and identifying threats to national security, supporting the prevention and detection of serious crimes and advising the President and government of any threats or potential threats to national security.

Asked why they have not formally informed the NIS that Sattar is their interest if there is any such requirement, ACB Director-General Martha Chizuma did not respond to our questions but, last week, she said that they learnt about Sattar’s visit two hours after he had left.

“By the time we became aware of Zuneth Sattar’s presence in Malawi, it was practically impossible for the bureau to do anything,” Chizuma said.

On his part, MPS deputy spokesperson Harry Namwaza refused to comment, saying the suspect in question is not on police radar.

“Talk to ACB, The Sattar matter is not in our hands; so, we can’t comment,” he said.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services spokesperson Wellington Chiponde said he needed more time before he could respond to our questionnaire.

Commenting on the NIS response, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa said Wednesday that they are worried that State actors are operating in isolation.

“The authorities should rise to the occasion and do what is right regarding someone who is suspected to have fraudulently benefitted from our taxes,” he said.

In December, the ACB arrested Sattar’s business associate Ashok Nair and former minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa for alleged corruption and fraud.

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