Agents from the British agency have seized United Kingdom (UK)-based businessman Zuneth Sattar’s pink Bentley and yellow Lamborghini, in addition to freezing his assets, as part of their investigations into his dealings in Malawi, The Times newspaper of the UK reported Monday.
But the publication was quick to note that Sattar is yet to be charged with any offence in the UK.
According to an article published Monday, Sattar strongly rejected the allegations that he bribed public officers to be awarded government contracts in Malawi.
He challenged the UK police and Crown Prosecution Service to charge him if they thought they had a case against him.
“I am not corrupt. I am a good person. My fate is in God’s hands.
“I am hated in Malawi, everyone has turned against me. I am up to no good. They say I was falsely inflating prices of drinks and other goods I was selling. But that is not true, it is false information. I am very successful, I have done well for my age and, sometimes, that brings enemies. But I have nothing to hide, I have done nothing wrong,” The Times quotes Sattar as saying.
In a televised address last Tuesday, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera told Malawians that investigations by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) revealed that a total of 84 people benefitted from Sattar’s fat wallet.
Chakwera said the ACB report indicated that beneficiaries of Sattar’s alleged generosity included Vice-President Saulos Chilima, former inspector general of Police George Kainja, State House suspended chief of staff Prince Kapondamgaga and Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) Chairperson John Suzi Banda.
Chakwera then fired Kainja and withdrew delegated powers from Chilima. He also suspended Kapondamgaga and ordered Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba to facilitate the suspension of Suzi Banda.
According to Chakwera, ACB investigations have revealed that 53 public officers and former public officers allegedly received money from Sattar in the eight months between March 2021 and October 2021.
On Thursday, the ACB arrested Kainja on allegations that he solicited an advantage from Sattar in form of a vehicle and $8,000 [about K8.1 million] to influence the award of a contract to supply 350,000 food ration packs worth $7, 875,000 (about K8 billion) to Xaviar Limited, a firm belonging to Sattar.
The graft-bursting body also arrested Deputy Commissioner of Police and Service Legal Officer Mwabi Kaluba for allegedly corruptly obtaining $20,000 [about K21 million] from Sattar as an advantage for assisting in the procurement contract of food ration packs.