Amid allegations implicating some top government officials in a case that Zuneth Sattar, who is under investigation by the United Kingdom (UK)’s National Crimes Agency, is answering in the UK, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Titus Mvalo has dismissed reports that he went on record saying that no member of the Tonse Alliance benefitted from alleged deals involving companies owned or associated with Sattar.
Mvalo is quoted to have made the claims in Lilongwe during a press briefing on May 18 this year.
But in an interview on Monday, Mvalo said he was referring to contracts that were awarded to Sattar prior to the current administration assuming power.
“What I said was that the Tonse government has not awarded Zuneth Sattar any contract, his contracts with the government were those which were awarded to him by the previous government, which the Tonse government found and which it has since terminated.
“I couldn’t have said no person in the Tonse government has benefitted from Sattar because that is personal, which I would not know of,” he said.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Shadric Namalomba said now that the alleged Sattar list is out, government should act quickly and arrest those involved.
“There was an issue during our time, it was called Maize-gate, the then minister was told to step down, and he did and all court processes were done and he was proven not guilty… so we are saying even if in the list there are DPP members, let the law act accordingly,” he said.
Government spokesperson Gospel Kazako recently told our sister publication Malawi News that the government has not yet received an official list of those implicated.
“Once the government receives the official list of the names of individuals who were involved in the plunder of public resources through corruption, it will confirm who in government is part of this toxic euphoria and that will confirm the sentiments of the Honourable Minister of Justice.
“At the moment there is nothing official on the table of government to agree or disagree with the sentiments,” Kazako said.
The UK is accusing Sattar of engaging in corruption in Malawi.
His case recently came before Deputy District Judge Stein of Uxbridge Magistrate Court, in which Sattar was asking the court to vary his bail conditions to allow him to travel outside the UK.
The deputy district judge was quoted as saying: “He faces serious charges [and] I would not interfere with investigations. I therefore refuse to vary the police bail investigations.”