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New Mera boss is a cashgate suspect

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The newly appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) Stan Ishmael Chiwoko is answering charges of money laundering in the infamous plunder of public resources, christened Cashgate and is currently on bail, The Daily Times can reveal.

Spokesperson for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Egritta Ndala, also confirmed in an interview yesterday that Chiwoko was arrested on October 21, 2014, for being a suspect of Money Laundering contrary to Section 35 (1) of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Proceeds of Serious Crimes Act in relation to the infamous plunder of public resources issue. I cannot say anything about that appointment,” Mkondiwa said.

Mera’s board Chairperson Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe declined to comment on the matter saying he is outside the country.

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“I cannot say anything about that issue honestly. I am outside the country and to have an interview with you right now, will be costly. Hold it for now. Let us do the interview next week. I will be back by then,” Bvumbwe said.

In a separate interview, Legal expert Edge Kanyongolo said he could not confidently comment on the development arguing that he does not know what Mera’s Act stipulates.

“From a legal point of view, I cannot say much because that would require me to go through Mera Act. So, I can’t say whether the appointment is lawful or unlawful because I don’t know what is contained in the Act,’’ Kanyongolo said.

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Efforts to speak to officials from Malawi Law Society to provide a legal interpretation of the appointment proved futile as both the President John Suzi Banda and Executive Secretary Khumbo Soko could not be reached on their mobile phones.

Chiwoko’s appointment was effective September 15 2016 after Chief Executive Officer, Raphael Kamoto, and Director of Finance, Elias Hausi were sent on forced leave to pave way for investigations into allegations of misappropriated K3 billion from the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF).

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