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‘No comment!’ Chilima timid on corruption allegations

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Vice President Saulos Chilima has declined to comment, at least for now, allegations that he is appearing on a list of those who have benefitted from alleged proceeds of corruption of Zunneth Sattar, who is currently being investigated by the National Crimes Agency of the United Kingdom (UK) and Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Sattar, a businessman, is being accused of engaging in corruption in Malawi.

The revelations come days after Sattar’s case came before Deputy District Judge Stein of Uxbridge Magistrate Court, in which the accused was asking the court to vary his bail conditions to allow him to travel outside the UK.

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In an interview today, on the sidelines of a meeting he had in Mzimba District, Chilima said he would wait for the investigations to conclude.

He breathed heavily and said: “I do not want to comment at this stage, let the process be as they should be, so I will not make any specific comment on that particular matter.”

A leaked affidavit from the UK court also implicates one Cabinet minister and some senior government officials in various departments and agencies.

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Sattar, a UK citizen Malawian born, was arrested on March 25 this year upon his return from Malawi.

He was first arrested in the UK towards the end of last year and raids were reportedly conducted in that country and Malawi on several properties allegedly belonging to him and his associates.

It is reported that the arrest followed a three-year-long investigation that the NCA had been conducting into the business person’s suspected corrupt dealings with some Malawi Government officials.

Among others Sattar is being investigated on alleged corruption behind three multi-billion contracts which he signed with Malawi government under both the Peter Mutharika and Lazarus Chakwera administrations, between 2019 and 2021.

Those contracts include the supply of six water cannon trucks which had a contract sum of about K8.5 billion, and the supply of food ration packs at a value of around K28.5 billion.

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